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THE 



BLACKWATER CHRONICLE 

A NAHEATIVE OF AN EXPEDITION INTO 

THE LAND OF CANAAN, 

IN BANDOLPH CX)UNTT, VIRGINIA, 

A COUNTRY FLOWING WITH WILD ANIMALS, SUCH AS PANTHEHS, 

BEARS, WOLVES, ELK, DEER, OTTER, BADGER, &o., &o., WITH 

INNUMERABLE TROUT— BY FIVE ADVENTUROUS GENTLE- 

AlEN, WITHOUT ANY AID OF GOVERNMENT, AND SOLELY 

BY THEIR OWN RESOURCES, IN THE SUMBIER OF 1851. 

%\ " €^t Cljrkt if dDititfiirh." 

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS FROM LIFE BY STEOTHEB. 







110 AND 112 NASSAU STREET, NEW YORK. 

1853. 



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THE NEW YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 

A8TOR, LtNOX AND 

TILDEN Fo.'NOAllONS. 

R 1913 L 



Entered, according to Act of Congresa, in ^le year 1853, 
By J. S. REDFIELD, 
\ lite Clerk's OflSce of Hie Diftrict Court of the United Statef, in and for the 
Southern District of New York. 



STBREOTTPID BY C. C * aXvAtJW; 
13 Chamban Street^^^lT*.*- 1 



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CONTENTS. 



PAGE. 

CHAPTER L 
Introductory 6 

CHAPTER 11. 
Getting under Way 15 

CHAPTER III. 
In which the Expedition dances a Hornpipe on the Top of a 
Mountain. 24 

CHAPTER IV. 
The Cockneys explained by the Prior of St Philips, from the 
Top of the Allegany 86 

CHAPTER V. 
Winston and its Ci^tellan^-^/. ESwifrdHwew 61 

: Ca^PTER VT^ 
The Blackwater Invasidn d«**/Jmii»;ed ^pon 68 

The Dale on the Potomac — and a Somewhat Particular De- 
scription on the Array 83 



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4 CONTENTS.. 

PAOE. 

CHAPTER VITI. 
TUd March into the Canaan 102 

CHAPTER IX 
The Lodge in the Wilderness 120 

CHAPTER X. 
Tlie Blackwater Found — A Great Number of Trout taken — 
Mr, Butcut fries some Fish 180 

CHAPTER XI. 
The Elackwater Villa 146 

CHAPTER XII. 
Th.a Fulls of the Blackwater 169 

CHAPTER XIIL 
Row we got out of the Canaan — and in Spite of our Teeth. . 181 

CHAPTER XIV. 
The Return to Winston — "Bootless Home and Weather-beaten 
Back." 209 



■ 



"•- * •♦* 



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THE 



BLACKWATER CHRONICLE. 



CHAPTER I. 

INTBODUOTORY. 

If the reader will take down the map of Virginia, 
and look at Randolph county, he will find that the 
Blackwater is a stream that makes down from the 
north into the Cheat river, some few miles below 
the point where that river is fonned by the junc- 
tion of the Dry fork, the Laurel fork, and the Glade 
fork — the Shavers, or Great fork, falling in some 
miles below : all rising and running along the west- 
em side of the Backbone of the AUeganies. 

The country embraced by these head-waters of 
the Cheat river is called "The Canaan" — a wilder- 
ness of broken and rugged mountains — its streams 
falling through deep clefts, or leaping down in great 
cataracts, into the Cheat, that sweeps the base of 
the Backbone. 



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6 THE BLAOKWATEB OHBONIOLB. 

it is to the Blackwater, one among the largest of 
tbeee streams of the Canaan, that we purpose to 
take the readier. If, therefore, his fancy urges him 
to the venture, let him come with us. All he has 
to do is to set himself down in his easy-chair, and 
lend us his ears. By the magic of this scroll we 
Bhall take him. 

This Biackwater (it should be called Amberwa- 
ter)j and north source of the Cheat, rises high up on 
the western slope of the Backbone, directly across 
from the Fairfax stone — where the head-spring of 
the Potomac has its source on this the eastern side 
of the mountain ; and it is supposed that these head- 
waters of the two rivers are not more than some 
half a mile (or mile at most) apart. The Backbone, 
following a general course from north to south, here 
turas at almost si right-angle, and takes across to 
the eastward some fifteen miles, when it regains its 
former southerly direction, thus forming a zigzag 
in its course. At the point where it first makes the 
bend to the east, a large spur— apparently the Back- 
bone itself — keeps straight to the south, and butts 
down on the Cheat, at the distance of some ten or 
twelve miles. Between this large spur and the 
point where the Backbone bends to the south again, 
is contained the cove of mountains which is called 
the Canaan. This region of country is in the very 
highest range of the AJleganies, lying in the main 
some three thousand feet above the level of the sea. 



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JNTBODUOTOBY. T 

Until a ibw years past) the whole of the dlBtrict 
embraced by the head-^watera of the Potomac and 
the Oheat was as remote and inaccessible as any 
part of the long range of the Alleganiea. Bnt some 
few years ago^ the state of Virginia constructed a 
graded road from Winchester to Parkersburg, which 
passes over the Backbone through the Potomac lim- 
its; and consequently this portion of the district 
has become opened out somewhat to the knowledge 
of the world, and has since been settled to a consid- 
erable ' extent The Baltimore and Ohio railroad 
also passes near here — at a distance from the bead- 
waters of the Potomac Yarying from ten to twenty 
miles. The railroad will bring all this regioi^ within 
a day's trayel of the seaboard ; and as the counlry 
lies about the head of the Maryland glades- — in 
themselves a source of attraction — and contains 
within its range many tracts of land of great fertility 
and beauty, it is not irrational to suppose that it 
will be cleared out and settled with rapidity. 

As it is, there is a good settlement around here 
already — the result, in the main, of the construc- 
tion of the Northwestern road. Long, however, be- 
fore this road was made, there was a Mr. Smith who 
jutched his tent in these wilds some fifty years or 
more ago, I am informed, and cleared out and im- 
proved a handsome estate for himself, lying along 
the Maryland shore of the Potomac, and containing 
some fifteen hundred acres of fine land of varied 



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8 THE BLAOKWATBB OHBONIOLE. 

hill and dale. The Smiths are now gone, and the 
estate has passed into other hands. In the older 
times a tavern was kept here, for the accommodar 
tion of the few people who crossed these mountains. 
But when the northwestern road came by, the mar- 
vels of a good highway were made manifest in the 
increased travel, that soon became too great for the 
capabilities of the once-unfiriended inn. About this 
period, a gentleman from the city of Washington, 
journeying this way to escape the heats of the sea- 
board, was so taken with the pleasant temperature 
of the air and the wild beauty of the mountains, 
that he bought the place — impelled somewhat 
thereto, no doubt, by the trout in the streams and 
th^ deer in the forests. Under his rule a new house 
was erected, large enough to hold a goodly compa- 
ny. This is the house — fair enough to look upon 
in its outside array, and comfortable enough within 
— that now stands imposing, not far away from the 
old one, on the brow of a lofty hill overlooking the 
Potomac. " Winston" the place is called — so called 
because the eighty-seventh milestone from Winches- 
ter is won when you reach its door. Edward Tow- 
ers keeps it — or did, when the Black water expedi- 
tion won the stone. Here, for some years past, ma- 
ny of our citizens, of both Virginia and Maryland, 
have been in the habit of resorting in the summer 
and fall months, to fish for trout, hunt the deer, 
shoot pheasants, wild turkeys, woodcock in their 



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IKTRODUOTOBT. 9 

season, and enjoy .the invigorating atmosphere of a 
country whose level is so high above the sea. 

The ride to this place over the Northwestern road 
is exquisitely delightful, and withal as easy as a 
ride can well be. You travel over a graded slate 
road — the perfection of a summer highway — engi- 
neered skilfully, and at but a low grade, through 
the gorges and defiles of Uiese fine mountains, and, 
when crossing any of them, seeming to have been 
carried over purposely at those points where the 
scenery is of the grandest or most beautiful charac- 
ter. Take it altogether, for the excellence of the 
road, and the varied combinations of scenery that 
are ever presenting themselves to view, there is no 
route across the mountains anywhere that excels it 
With a pair of good horses in a light carriage, you 
can speed along all the way as if you were taking 
an evening drive about your home, even though 
your home be where the roads are the best in the 
land. And then, what exhilaration of spirit is felt 
by you as you roll smoothly along at the rate of 
some ten miles an hour, your horses scarcely stretch- 
ing a trace — seeming merely to keep out of the 
way of the wheels! — on one side of you a deep 
gorge, a thousand feet down, dark with hemlocks 
sind firs, where a mountain-stream breaks its way to 
the sea ; above you, high-towering peaks and over- 
hanging cliffs, where the oak or stately fir has cast 
anchor, and held on for ages in defiance of all the 

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10 THE BLAGEWATEB GHBOKIGLE. 

storms of the AUeganies ; while before you, afar off, 
glitteriDg in the sanshine, are seen in glimpses the 
green fields and meadows of some fair, luxuriant 
valley ; and the whole horizon bounded by lofty 
mountains that seem to defy all approach, but which 
you at length wind your way through by some con- 
cealed cleft, the bed of a stream, with scarcely any 
more of obstruction than a bowling-green would 
present to your glowing wheels. 

There are but few things more agreeably exciting 
to the spirits than a rapid drive through the coun- 
try on a good road. There are some who will not 
assent to this proposition ; but they are not to be 
deferred to in these matters of fastness^ and do not 
understand the philosophy of the human soul. " The 
power of agitation upon the spirits," says Dr. John- 
son, " is well known. Every man has felt his heart 
lightened by a rapid drive or a gallop on a swift 
horse." This might be only a little closet philoso- 
phy of the sturdy old despot of letters, maintained 
in theory but belied in practice^ like our famous 
doctrine of state-rights here in Virginia ; but we 
have it on record that the rough old viking of our 
English literature considered it one of the prime fe- 
licities of his life to ride in a stage-coach, even at 
the rate of speed attainable in his day. If one of 
the soundest moral philosophers that any age or 
country has produced can be shown as both theo- 
retically and practically enforcing the happiness of 



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INTRODUOTOBY. 11 

rapid motion — at least to the extent that could be . 
achieved by an English stage-coach, and over the 
comparatively rude thoroughfares leading out of 
London a hundred years ago — ante Agamemnonay 
that is, before M'Adam — how much more delight- 
ful must be the agitation of your spirits, and the 
consequent lightening of your heart, when the at- 
mosphere you breathe, as you drive smoothly along 
behind a pair of untiring thoroughbreds, is the very 
purest, and the scenes around you are among the 
grandest or most beautiful of a whole continent! 
And all this too, recollect, with a splendid craving 
all over you — feeling it even at your finger-ends — 
everywhere — for food: visions of venison-steaks, 
and hot rolls, and fresh summer butter, made where 
the meadows are " with daisies pied," floating 
through your crowded and hunger-enraptured brain 
— and with the certainty, too, all the while in your 
mind, that you can not apparently kill this craving 
for the time being with anything in the shape of a 
breakfast, dinner, supper, or what not, but it will 
be all powerful again upon you in some three or 
four hours! — an appetite seemingly endowed with 
the quality of the phoenix, that out of its own ashes 
renews itself — 



-"revives and floiuishefl^ 



Like that self-begotten bird, 

In the Arabian woods embossed" — 

not surpassed by anything of the sort that we have 

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12 THE BLAOKWATEB OHBOmOLB. 

on record — not by Sancho Panza's, nor by Ritt- 
master Dugald Dalgetty's, nor yet that of the migh- 
ty heroes of the Iliad — aptly to describe which the 
genitLs of Pomer was only equal, when the divine 
old bard sings of it as the sacred rage of hwnger. 

If any mortal of these sated days would wish 
fully to appreciate what this Homeric rage is, let 
him take this ride to the AUeganies ; and though 
he should be of a nobler spirit than Esau, yet will 
h© in his inmost soul commiserate thiat poor devil 
for having sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. 



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QETTJSQ inrDEB WAT. 35 



CHAPTER II. 

GETTINa UNDER WAY. 

*The stout earl of Northumberland 

A Yow to God did make, 
His pleasure on the Scottish ground 
Three summer days to take." 

The stout Earl Percy, here alluded to, did take 
his pleasure on the Scottish ground — and how, all 
the world knows that has read the fine old ballad 
of " Chevy Chase." How the stout gentlemen, and 
also those who were none of the stoutest, who took 
their pleasure on the Black water, came off, hearken 
to the following chronicle, and you shall learn. 

It was toward the first of June last past, that a 
number of gentlemen, residing near each other, in 
a pleasant part of that rich valley vaunted to the 
world as the garden of Virginia, and called by the 
people of the mountain-ranges back of it the land 
of Egypt, from the quantity of grain which it pro- 
duces, determined to make a pleasure expedition 
into the Allegany country, having it chiefly in view 
to harry its streams for trout. Accordingly, on one 
fine morning — it was on the last day of the univer- 



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16 THE BLACKWATEB CHBONIOLE. 

Ball J -lauded month of May — we gathered together, 
prepared as best we knew how for the expedition. 

It was at the pleasant country-dwelling of Mr- 
Peter Botecote, one of our number, that we made 

our rendezvous : — 

"And Wat of Harden came thither amain. 
And thither came John of Thirlestane, 
And thither came William of Deloraine" — 

and III! the rest of us — men, dogs, and horses. 
Here, after some animated parley, and an early din- 
ner, it was resolved that we should forthwith take 
our departure, notwithstanding the strawberries that 
were ripe in the garden, and the cream that was 
abounding in the dairy, and what too was far more 
delaying, the fascination of our lady-hostess. Pleas- 
ant enough this bower of Botecote's ; but hope smiled 
ita enchantments upon us far away, from the Y^ry 
midst of the wild Alleganies, and our hearts were 
too much agog and all a-tiptoe with its illusions, to 
think of staying. The delirium of the mountains 
was upon us; and so, amid the neighing and paw- 
ing of horses, the speeding to and fro of servants, 
the dancing eyes of children, and the wife's liaU- 
eorrowful smile as she committed her adventurous 
husband to the destiny of a two or three weeks' sep- 
aration, we wheeled into order, and took up the line 
of march. " Hey I"—" Get away !"— " Ho !"— « Ha, 
you dog!" — whips flourishing, dogs barking — nil 
the commotion that a country-gentleman's establish- 



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aBTTiNa vmxsR way. 17 

ment could well get up ; every good spirit attend- 
ing, to say nothing of the high ones : thus we left 
the Botecote portals, and — 

<<An the blue bonn^ta are over the border T 

We drove to Winchester, a town when George 
n. was king here in Virginia : not one of your re- 
cent cities, grown up to a hundred thousand people 
within the memory of men alive, but an old, time- 
honored town, of some five thousand souls, with re- 
membrances about it ; familiar to the footsteps of 
Thomas, the sixth Lord Fairfax, when he lived at 
Greenway court (some ten miles oflE),and held pow- 
er as lieutenant of the county of Frederick, hunted 
the boar, wrote for " The Spectator," and set twenty 
covers daily at his table : famous, too, in our provin- 
cial history, as the military headquarters of Wash- 
ington during the war of '65 against the French for 
the possession of the western country. Here, to 
this old border stronghold of the Dominion, where 
the dismantled ramparts of Fort Loudon still look 
down upon the town, we drove over night, a matter 
of some twenty miles, ready to make a more sus- 
tained movement the next morning on Winston — 
some eighty-seven miles distant, as already stated, 
on the Northwestern road. 

The expedition travelled in three light carriages, 
such as are commonly called wagofis^ all tight and 
sound, freshly washed, oiled, and rubbed, and glit- 



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18 THE BLAOEWATEB GHBONICLE. 

tering in the Bun " like images :" each wagon drawn 
by a vigorous trotter in fine condition, and able on 
a good road easily to make such time as would have 
satisfied Dr. Johnson, even though his philosophy 
of happiness should have required a greater speed 
than ten miles an hour. We were five in all : the 
sixth didn't go, that gentleman having failed us by 
the way, owing to some anxieties he entertained 
about trusting himself so high up on the continent. 
But no matter; we were yet five. Tliere was — 

Mr. Peter Botecote, generally called Butcut by 
his familiars — sometimes But; 

Mr. Guy Philips, the Master of the priory of St. 
Philips : hence familiarly the master, sometimes the 
Prior, and occasionally " the county Guy ;" 

Triptolemus Todd, Esq., our Murad the Unlucky, 
and sometimes Trip ; 

Doctor Adolphus Blandy, physician to the expe- 
dition : Galen he was called for short ; 

And the Signor Andante Strozzi, our artist, also 
amateur musician. 

Mr. Perry Winkle, jocosely called by his friends, 
in one syllable, Perrywinkle^ is the name of the 
gentleman who didnH go — which we mention 
here that he may not altogether escape immor- 
tality — and would also give his likeness, were it 
not for a well-founded apprehension that it might 
too much divert the attention of the reader from 
our narrative. 



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GETTING UfinDEB WAY. 19 

The array, it will be perceived from the naming, 
is Somewhat imposing, and gives promise of some- 
thing to be done and said out of the common. 
Truly, this record of the performance need not fall 
short of the promise, if the ambitious chronicler 
can succeed, by any happy art, in anything like a 
history that shall be a just impress — an impress 
of the body and soul — of the expedition. Thucy d- 
ides hit it, in his narrative of The Sailing for 
Sicily, also in The Landing of Alcihiadea at 
Athena ; Livy, in that part of his twenty-first book 
which we 've got, and no doubt in the remainder 
of it, if we could only find it ; Segur, in the retreat 
from Moscow; Macaulay, in the landing of the 
prince of Orange, and the march on London ; 
Voltaire's Charles the Twelfth, too, ought not to be 
passed over in this enumeration ; nor yet Sallust's 
little narrative of Catiline. Let us add another to 
the illustrious roll, by writing the Blackwater Nar- 
rative up to the immortal standard. 

Deserted, then, by Mr. Perrywinkle, we were 
yet five in number ; all good men and true, and 
of unusually diversified character and appearance : 
none of us to be called old in years, but old enough 
in the ups and downs, and ins and outs of this world, 
having made **many hair -breadth 'scapes by fiood 
and field," by town and country, by man and wo- 
man also, in our time — even the more youthful 
Triptolemus, who has killed in his time several 



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20 THE BLAOKWATEB OHBONIOLE. 

good pointers in shooting partridges, and some few 
years ago shot himself in the right knee — which 
will account for his lameness in these pages. With- 
out mincing matters too much, we will speak it out 
freely, that we were all men of some mark and 
likelihood, as men go; and although the world 
might not judge us (which it is our opinion it 
would make a great mistake in not doing) as '^ fit 
to stand by Csesar in a tented field," there can be 
no doubt that it would hold us all, if it had the 
honor of our acquaintance, as fit to sit by that 
" foremost man of all the world," at a dinner or a 
supper, at any rate. 

We will take the liberty of saying, however, 
with great modesty, and begging pardon of every- 
body, and especially of the old Eomans, that if 
"the mightiest Julius" had been along with us 
upon this expedition, he would have found the 
passage into the country of the Blackwater a far 
more fatiguing enterprise than any of his incur- 
sions into the countries of the AUobrogi, or Nervii, 
or Acquitanii, or Boii, or any other of those out- 
siders, against whom the elegant and captivating 
greatest Roman marched. 

It will not be amiss here to mention, that we 
travelled upon our inroad very much after the 
fashion in which Osesar went upon his. Grave 
History has not thought it beneath her dignity to 
.record how the great master of the Roman world 



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GETTING TJNDBE WAT. 21 

went upon his depredations ; and it is one of her 
condesceneionB for which we are very much obliged 
to her. It is therefore, we know, among other things 
of this elegant and all-accomplished suhrerter of the 
republic and founder of the fourth and last univer- 
sal empire, that he rode in a carriage upon his 
forays. This carriage was called a rheda^ " a sort 
of gig or curricle," says a recent very distinguished 
authoiity, Mr. De Quincey, " a four-wheeled car- 
riage, and adapted to the conveyance of about half 
a ton." This, the reader will perceive, is in and 
about our modem wagon ; and we have no doubt, 
if the matter were fairly investigated, it would be 
ascertained that the rheda of the Boman is the 
prototype of the wagon of the American: it's a 
four-runner at any rate. Julius used this carriage, 
we are informed, because it enabled him to take 
with him the amount of equipment that was essen- 
tial to his elegant and patrician habits : his various 
mantles — for instance, the one he overcame the 
Nervii in, which he preserved and wore many 
years after in the city, and was the same in which 
the envious Casca made the rent, that Shakspere 
and Casca between them have made so immortal ; 
his bandboxes, in which he kept the wreaths he 
wore around his head, as our ladies do now on 
festival occasions — the ivy, the laurel, the oak 
wreaths, and what others I know not ; his bathing 
apparatus, brushes, soaps, &c. ; his unguents and 



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22 THB BLAOEWATEB OHBOBIOLE. 

perfttmes, with the variouB ancieat Roman balms 
for the care of baldneBs. The rheda was adjusted 
to the convenient transportation of these essentials 
of an elegant Boman gentleman of that day : and 
so the wagon to the wants of the daintiest gentle- 
man of this. 

It will be peroeivedy therefore, that our expedi- 
tion has many points of resemblance to those so 
famous of the splendid Roman. It was depredatory 
in the first place. It combined, in the second, about 
an equal commingling of the luxurious and the rough- 
and-tumble. Thirdly : considering that it took the 
field about nineteen centuries later than Ceesar's, 
there is a very remiu*kable resemblance between 
the vehicles used in both. Fourthly : in one single 
engagement, fought on the Blackwater, and which 
lasted only about two hours, no less than four hun- 
dred and ninety some odd of the enemy were slain, 
and what is more, fully a hundred of them eaten 
next thing to alive : and this, we take it, will com- 
pare with anything done in Gaul. Lastly : the wild 
tribes that infested the Alleganies, fled before our 
arms ; many a flying army of deer owed their lives 
to the mercy of the invaders ; the badgers and the 
otters — a feeble people, yet sagacious and wary — 
we laid ourselves out to take by policy, that is en- 
trap them, as OsBsar did the like people of Gaul ; 
and had not the fierce panthers, the rude bears, 
the prowling wolves, and the other warlike inhab- 



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OSmKO UKBEB WAT. 28 

itants of these untamed forests, betaken themselyes 
to their fastnesses, and there remained with a savage 
fortitude that defied hunger all the time we were 
out, we should have vanquished them with as great 
slaughter as hefell the Boii, and Nervii, the Hel- 
vetians, the Acquitanii, Vercingetorix, Orgetoriz, 
Dumnorix, Benorix, and all the other Orizes, at the 
hands of Julius — roasted and devoured some of 
them too, next thing to alive. 

But enough. 'Rie reader is, no doubt, bj this 
time, impressed with a due sense of the dignity of 
our undertaking. Let us not then any longer dallj 
with our narrative, but hasten on to the field of our 
renown. 



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S4r TflS BLAOKWATBB OHBONIOLB. 



OHAPTEE III. 

IN WmOH THE EXFEDmON DAITCES A HOBNPIPS OK 

THE TOP OF A MOUlTriLlN. 

f 

Aftbb an early breakfast at about BunriBe, we 
left the hotel in Winchester on the morning of the 
1st of June ; and taking out the Northwestern road, 
we went on our way rejoicing. Passing through 
the North mountain, five miles out, where it breaks 
down almost on a level with the valley we had just 
left, we entered fairly into the mountain region — 
whence it is nothing but chain after chain, until 
you cross over the broad belt to the great, spreading, 
western, shining plain, watered by the Mississippi 
and its tributaries. 

For several hours we travelled along without 
stint or stay, filled with the bliss of this first morn- 
ing of June. Our horses tread the ground lightly, 
vigorous and nimble-footed, no touch of weariness 
yet upon them; and our swift wheels turn with 
scarce-perceptible sound — a mere low hum along 
the slaty road. Delicious is the summer's day, de- 
licious to both soul and sense I No poet's dream of 
June was ever so enchanting. It has rained over 



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THE BXPEDinON BANOBS A HOBNPIFE. 25 

night, and fresh and fragrant everywhere is the 
morning. The forest-leaves are all washed clean as 
the waters of heaven can make them, and the gras- 
ses are more delicately green in their renewal. The 
rain-drops, not yet dried np, sparkle all over the 
forest, in the glittering sunshine, like beads of pearl. 
All nature, animate and inanimate — on four legs, 
two, or none — feels the heavenly influence of the 
hour. The woods are vocal with the rapturous voice 
of birds. The wild-flowers — the wild-rose and the 
wood- violet, the gorgeous laurel, 'and the sweet elder- 
bloom — in all their freshened glory, give their deli- 
cate perfumes to the liberal air, and their hues of 
heaven to the enraptured sight. The streams, some- 
times crossing our path, and sometimes flowing on 
by our side — seeming to go with us whichever way 
we go — flowing on adown the dell or by tiie rifted 
rock, and all embowered with shrubs and tangled 
vines : these sing their sweet songs tuneful to the 
ear, until at length, ecstasy — bom of the murmur- 
ing waters, the balm of the air, the glory of the 
wild-flowers, the warble of the birds, and the smooth 
velocity of your rheda — enters into the heart, and 
pervades your countenance with a radiance that is 
almost divine. 

Thus full of all joy that is bom of summer and 
the mountains, we speed on our way — to happiness 
and to Winston 1 On we drive, over the smooth 
road, through gorge, and dell, and valley, when by- 



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26 THB BLAOKWATEB OHBONIGLB. 

and-by we ascend, a moxintain^ winding up its side 
like the track of a snake, until we reach the top. 
Here a magnificent panorama of distant-blending 
valleys and mountains pUed on mountains, breaks 
suddenly on our view ; and, seized with a shouting 
spirit of exultation— 

** We call a halt^ and make a stand. 
And cry, * St George for merry England 1**— 

meaning thereby this all-hailed land of ours, which 
the patriotic reader will of course understand. 

The day is now sonre four hours old by the rfiad- 
ow ; and before yet the last echoes of our voices 
have died away in the hills and rocks around, a 
wayfarer, all in minstrel array bedight, walked in 
wearily among us. Se called a halt, and made a 
stand, too, on the mountain's brow. This was a wan- 
dering Italian, with bis hand-oz:gan strapped to his 
back, who had ascended from the other side ; and 
it was not long before he had unburdened himself 
of his bread-winner, and given us a specimen of 
what his art could do. His instrument was a very 
good one, and our imaginations had by this time 
thrown around him an air of romance and poetry. 
Had we encountered him in the streets of a city, he 
would have beeu: nothing more than an ordinary 
strolling minstrel to us ; but here, in the forest, his 
music struck upon the ear pleasantly enough, and 
brought to its aid much poetic association. It sound- 






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THB EXPEDinOH DANCOBB A HOBKITPE. 27 

ed of the days when the old harper b^ged his bread 
from door to door : and the hand-organ is abready 
half-elevated into the harp, and he who turns it has 
a soul alive to^ poetry and song. Happy power of 
illusion I it is better than gold in gilding this bare 
life — this life so bare and hard to the pure reason, 
so fall of charm to the imagination I 

Thus idealizing the handK)rgan and the very good- 
looking, rather handsome man, who turned it, we 
now left our wagons ; and, out in the road, and face 
to face, we hold friendly parley with the stranger. 
The wandering minstrel is a Neapolitan ; and the 
Signer Strozzi, our artist, glad of a chance to refresh 
himself with a little Italian, immediately enlarges 
upon the renowned city — its towers and palaces, 
the bay, the towns around, and the neighboring vol- 
cano lurid in the heavens. ITot unmindful of his 
country, there is moisture in the eye of the min- 
strel, and something very like a tear is on his cheek. 
There is something sympathetic in all show of feel- 
ing ; and when the prior of St. Philips repeated in 
feeling tones the song of the harper in Bokeby-r- 

"Wo came with war, and want with wo^ 
And it waa mine to nndargo / 

Each outrage of the rebel foe : 

Can aught atone 
Hy fields liud waste, my eot laid lowf 

Mj harp alone ! 

*' Ambition's dreams IVe seen depart, 
Have med of penniy the smarts 



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2o THE BLACKWATEB OHBONIQLE. 

Have felt of love the yenomed dart» 

When hope was flown ; 
Yet rests one solace to 1117 heart — 

My harp alone I 

"Then o'er mountain, moor, and hill, 
M7 faithful harp^ I'll bear thee still, 
And when this life of want and ill 

Is well nigh gone. 
Thy strings mine elegy shall thrill, 

My hafp alone I" — 

when the feeling prior, here on the mountain's brow, 
crooned forth these verses — the ruined exile stand- 
ing tired before him, with his arm thrown over his 
bread-winner — let the susceptibility to emotion be 
here recorded of the expedition, which made us 
draw forth our purses and give to this rude votary 
of the "joyous science'' more silver and gold than 
he had gathered in a week in all his roaming. We 
were as good as two or three villages to him. 

Having, however, some latent, half shame-prompt- 
ed idea that we might be indulging a little too much 
in a sentimental luxury, incompatible with the man- 
ly and somewhat rough, Kunic character of our en- 
terprise, we daffed aside these softer emotions, and 
slyuck off into a lighter and gayer strain, more in 
keeping with the actual state of the case around us. 
And so the Neapolitan, Jacomo, assumed once more 
his usual professional bearing, and struck his lyre 
to the strains that nightly over the earth swell the 
hearts of those who worship at the feet of Terp- 
sichore — that is, he played us some waltzes and 



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THB EXPEDITION DANOES A HOBNPIPE. 29 

polkas. And presently we all began to dance — the 
little figures in the glass case in front of the organ, 
and we on the slaty summit of the mountain^oad. 




Away we go, in fine accord with the minstrelsey — 
now waltzing together in bold sweeps around the 
brow of the mountain ; and now, with arms akimbo, 
dancing a polka, in many mazy gyrations, after the 
most approved manner of executing that dance, as 
it was first exhibited by the ballet-people at our 
theatres, before yet it became fashionable in high 
life. The whole aflfair we concluded with Fisher^s 
hornpipe^ through which we capered with such sur- 
prising agility as was never before or since made 
manifest on the top of any mountain in the United 



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80 THE BLAGKWATBR OHBONIOLE. 

States — or, probably, at the bottom of any one 
either. As we danced, we all sang, too, in accom- 
paniment with the strains, thus doubly taxing our 
powers. The dust^flew, and rose into the heavens ; 
Jacomo's black eye sparkled as he swiftly turned 
his crank. The scene was as intense as the race 
down the quarter stretch between Eclipse and Hen- 
ry, when North and South hung suspended on the 
strife. We swam the very air agile and swift-bound- 
ing — some of us — as the antelope; others with a 
strained, incongruous jerking and ponderous agil- 
ity, very much like what might be supposed of a 
buflTalo in a hornpipe. Even the lame leg of Murad 
the Unlucky might be caught a glimpse of, every 
now and then, flying about in the midst of the hurly- 
burly as something independent of anybody pres- 
ent : in our American vernacular, it seemed to be 
going it on its own hook. The horses drew up 
around us with their wagons, and, with ears bent 
forward, and fascinated gaze, looked on in pleased 
wonderment. Fiaher^s hoTTvpipe is perhaps one of 
the fastest tunes now known in all Christendom ; 
and yet, fast as we danced it, we sang it. It was 
thus the wild descant rang through the forest : — 

" Did you ever see the devil. 
With his iron wooden shovel, 
A scratching up the gravel. 
With his nightcap on \ 



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THE EXPEDmOir DANCES A HORNPIPE. 31 

** No, I ii«r6r MW the d«Til, 
With his iron wooden ihoyel, 
A scratching np the gravel. 
With his nightcap on." 

[Bepeated twice,] 



** Did you ever, ever, ever. 
Ever, ever, ever, ever. 
Ever, ever, ever, ever, 
Cateh a whale by the tail t 



" No, I never, never, never. 
Never, never, never, never, 
Never, never, never, never, 
Caught a whale by the tail." 

[Repeated twtee,] 

The echoes around take up our voices at every 
pause for breath ; the mountains, as in the old 
Bible times, cry -aloud for joy ; and ever see the 
devilj and nightcap on^ and whale hy the taily 
in the cadence of the hornpipe, are repeated far 
and near, until at length the uproar dies away — in 
some far remote dell, a last faint, feeble sound of 
whale . . . taily lingering for a moment on the ear, 
and all is hushed : the echoes have gone to sleep 
again, and nothing breaks upon the stillness of the 
mountains, save the lazy sound of the summer 
wind, that is itself almost silence. 

Somewhat fagged and out of breath, we now 
once more took to our wagons, the horses by this 
time well rested ; and leaving the Neapolitan, dis- 
consolate Jacomo, standing irresolute on the moun- 
tain's brow, we swept down the windings of the 



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82 THE BLACKWATEB CHBONICLE. 

highway, at the rate of Bome twelve miles to the 
hour — Jacomo still standing motionless as a pic- 
ture, as we entered a wild defile of the forest, and 
for ever lost him to the sight. Winding our way 
over a broken range of picturesque hills, we at 
length entered a ravine, down which a clear, spark- 
ling stream hunts its course to a neighboring river. 
Here are some very remarkable cliffs of a pure 
white sandstone, which is in some demand among the 
nicer housekeepers of Winchester and Komney for 
scouring purposes. Into the base of oner of these 
cliffs, a large excavation has been made, where the 
rock is so purely white, that it suggests to you the 
idea of a quarry of the finest loaf-sugar. Passing 
these loaf-sugar cliffs, we drove on leisurely down 
the cool ravine, by the banks and through the fords 
of the silvery stream, when presently we emerged 
from the deep shadows oF some thickly-clustered 
hemlocks and pines into the light of day, and 
found ourselves before the tavern door of Mr. 
Charles Blue. Here we stopped to feed and rest 
our horses for some two or three hours — taking 
care, in the meantime, to regale ourselves with such 
delicacies of fried chickens, broiled ham and eggs, 
and fresh butter and milk, as the house afforded us. 
About two o'clock — the day being still pleasant, 
and without any burdensome heat — we took to the 
road again ; and after some two hoursHravel, through 
the green valleys and over other mountains, we (U 



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THE EXPEDITION DANCES A HORNPIPE. 33 

length came in sight ©f the little town of Eomney, 
beautifull}'^ situated upon a sloping plateau of land 
that lies back of tbe high banks and bluffs of the 
South Branch ; the river here flowing along in all 
its winding lines of beauty — on through rich bot- 
toms and bold over-hanging mountains, to its junc- 
tion with the Potomac. 

Somewhere about four o'clock — after descending 
a long and beautiful sweep of road, grand enough 
in all its features to be the avenue to some lordly 
city — we drove up to the door of the village inn 
(the old Virginia designation is ordinary), situated 
pleasantly on the main street of Komney, and kept 
by Mr. Armstrong, formerly a member of Congress 
from this district, but who has for some years past 
chosen the better part — shaken the dust of the cap- 
itol from his feet, and commanded the respect and 
good will of all considerate people who travel this 
way, by the manner in which he discharges his pres- 
ent representative duty to the public. In this com- 
fortable inn, we took our ease for the rest of the 
day,liaving accomplished just forty- four miles over 
those mountains, since first we drew rein in the 
morning. 

How the Signor Strozzi was taken by some of 
the good people of Romney for an Italian revolu- 
tionist — how Doctor Blandy built a very remark- 
able castle in the air, that from a neighboring 
eminence commanded the South Branch valley — 
2* 



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34 THE BLACKWATEB CHRONICLE. 

how Mr. Butcut set the porch in a roar, at a story 
he told of some cockneys who came over to New 
York to hunt bears about that city ; how the 
Prior discoursed eloquently on Lucerne grass and 
tlie ancients ; how Triptolemus, when the levee we 
held on the porch was at the highest, called every- 
body by somebody else's name; how we passed 
altogether a very cheerful and gay evening of it, 
among the social citizens of Romney, who did us 
the bonor to make our acquaintance — we will not 
detain the reader by setting forth in full in these 
pages, but here end this chapter, and with it the 
narrative of the evening. 



L 



\ 



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THE COCKNEYS EXPLAINED. 35 



CHAPTEE IV. 

THE COCKNEYS EXPLAINED BY THE PRIOR OF ST. PHIL- 
IPS, FROM THE TOP OF THE ALLEGAJSTT. 

What time the skylark plumed his wing, the ex- 
pedition awoke from its slumbers, and betimes arose ; 
what time the sun peeped into the casements of the 
village hostel, it sat triumphant over a routed break- 
fast-table, and, like Alexander, sighed that it had 
no more to conquer. In this condition, he of Mace- 
dbn took to drink — but we to our wagons, with a 
good-by to pleasant Romney. 

The morning was delightfully bracing. Whether 
it was the mountain-air, or the mountain-oats, that 
inspired them, our horses carried themselves as 
proud as reindeers, and went down the main street 
of Romney with a free swing, fully up to the re- 
quirements of the Dr. Johnson philosophy in this 
matter. As we crossed the high plain to the bluffs 
of the river, the scenery of the South-Branch valley 
was just developing into expres''<fti — the mountain 
in bold masses, the winding river with its mists, the 
rich bottoms striped with cornfields, the long range 
of brown cliffs in the distance, and in the foreground 



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36 THE BLACKWATER CHRONICLE. 

tiic liigh plain on which sat the picturesque town: 
all in striking contrasts of light and shade ; the dark 
shadows of the mountains, and the golden mists of 
the river ; the spangled dewdrops on the meadows, 
and the funeral drapery of the pine-forests ; Apollo, 
fpunhis chariot of the sun, elimning some new glory 
of the picture, as he drove on up the steeps of the 
skies. 

This glimpse of the sunrise-picture was all we 
Btiw, for it is but a mile from the town to the bluffs 
of the river, and these we have already gained. We 
now descended from the table-land, and crossed the 
South Branch by a good bridge. With the river on 
one side and the overhanging mountain on the other, 
we drove on for a mile or so ; when we turned off, 
and passed through the mountain on almost a dead- 
level road, winding along the side of a stream that 
here makes its way through a deep cleft to the river. 
Por some fifteen miles the road is a beautiful one — 
smooth, and of easy grade in its gradual rise toward 
the Alleganies; now hugging the hills, now follow- 
ing the bends of the streams, now through valleys 
spotted with farmhouses and green with luxuriant 
grass. At length we came to the Knobley, which 
we ascended, passing through a hamlet scattered 
carelessly along the cultivated slopes of the mount- 
ain. This mountain presents a very remarkable out- 
line, being a succession of high knobs or peaks with 
intervening low depressions, giving it the appear- 



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THE COCKNEYS EXPLAINED. 87 

ance of an indented castle-wall. Through one of 
these depressions we crossed, and descended by easy 
traverses to the other side. For a mile or so we 
wound our way through the defiles of a broken 
range of hills, and emerged at length into a narrow 
and beautifully-picturesque valley — the Allegany 
piled up in grand masses on one side, and the road 
running for some miles along the banks of a clear, 
rapid stream, known hereabouts as New creek — 
just such a stream, so wild and cool, as the imagi- 
nation would fill with trout a foot and a quarter 
long, and some four inches deep behind the shoul- 
ders. 

By the side of the sparkling creek, with (no doubt) 
trout to be had for the casting of a fly, or the im- 
paling of a worm, we found a large and comfortable 
brick house, where a Mr. Keese keeps an inn highly 
spoken of in these parts for its excellent* accommo- 
dations. At the base of the Allegany stands invi- 
tingly the mountain-embowered inn. In front of 
this is the clear, cool, wild, dancing stream ; and up 
beyond this again, rises with bold ascent, almost at 
right-angles to the water, a richly-wooded spur of 
the Allegany, colored with all-blended hues of green, 
from the pale tea*color of the mountain-ash, to the 
dark, grand, gloom green, almost invisible green, 
of the clustered fir-trees and hemlocks — these the 
nobler pines that more particularly distinguish thQ 
forests of the Allegany ranges. 



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38 THE BLACKWATER OHBONICLE. 

From Ueese's house, at the base, it is seven miles 
to the top of the Allegany — something of an Olym- 
pus to the warts behind us. Mindful of our horses, 
we gird up our loins for the encounter, and take to 
the heaven-kissing hill afoot. Half-way up there is 
a fountain of pure spring- water caught in a rude 
trough by the roadside ; and men and horses gather 
around, and revel in the mountain hippocrene. The 
lookout from here is already grand. Far and wide 
you behold the land we have travelled. On we go 
again, up and up, still up ; and the air you breathe 
is freer, and the scene wilder and yet more widely 
revealed at every turn of the road, rounding each 
rocky promontory that juts the mountain-side. 

In something more than two hours we reached 
the toll-gate, situated near the summit of the ridge, 
and commanding a prospect of all the land lying 
abroad to the eastward. This is one of the grandest 
and most diversified mountain-scenes in the whole 
range of our country : mountains piled on mount- 
ains everywhere, of every variety of size and shape, 
with all their valleys, glens, gorges, dells, and nar- 
row defiles — all yet varied by the changing light 
and shade that falls upon them from the heavens— 
as the heavens are ablaze with sunshine, or swept 
by passing summer-clouds. 

Altogether it i^ such a scene as seldom meets the 
eye. At once its glory has entered into the heart 
and fired the imagination, and we are a thousand 



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THE OOOKNETS EXPLAINED. 39 

times over repaid for the long, toilsome ascent that 
has given it to as. To view it aright, "it should be 
seen under all changing aspects : at the dawn and 
the sunrise ; under the earlier and the later shadows 
of the morning ; when the midday blaze has made 
it all dreamy as an ocean unmoved ; as the shadows 
lengtjiwi upon it in the evening ; as the gloom of 
the twilight gathers over it. To see it in its great- 
est sublimity, you should be here when, bare of lea^ 
and all rugged in its disclosnre, it is terrible with 
the howling storms of winter — storms sweeping 
dreadfully both the heavens and the earth ! 

Yet, even in a half-hour's glance, much will be 
written upon the mind that can never be effaced ; 
^and this "dim spot, that men call earth," will be 
«ever after greatly dignified to your appreciation. A 
scene thus ennobling, let us tiot pass away from it 
too lightly. Let us portray it, even though it be 
with such indistinct limning as the few moments we 
loitered at the toll-gate will enable. 

You are at su.ch height here at the gate, that as 
you stand looking eastward, there is nothing to 
bound your vision but your natural horizon. You 
are above the whole scene ; and looking over it, you 
may be said to look down over it. You command 
it all, to the extent of the power of the eye. Far 
below you, some thousands of feet, is a wood-em- 
bosomed dell, with an open farm every here and 
there spotted along it, looking at this distance like 



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40 THE BLAOKWATEB OHKONIOLE. 

patches of wild meadow and glade in the midst of 
the vast forest around. Immediately beyond rises 
a bold and rugged mountain, whose craggy top is 
indented like the battlements of a castle, and whose 
sidfS sweep down, dark with firs and hemlocks, and 
every variety of pines, to the edge of the deep val- 
ley. Looking to the right, the mountains «re bro- 
ken and irregular, as if they had been tossed and 
torn to pieces by some mighty upheaving of the 
eartli, and had thus fallen scattered about in con- 
fueedj giant masses : some elegant and majestic ae 
the " star'y-pointed pyramid ;" some grand and 
niaRsive as the " proud bulwark on the steep ;" oth- 
ers of huge, misshapen bulk — the Calibans of the 
wild ; and others, again, so grotesque of form, that 
they seem to have been moulded by the very genius 
of Whim — the Merry- Andrews of the Alleganies: 
and all yet beautiful and soft to the eye, with the 
softening hues of summer — these summer hues pro- 
ducing the same effect here that time has wrought 
upon the rugged feudal castle, as so beautifully de- 
scribed in the verse of Mason : — 



■ "Time 



Has moulded into beauty many a tower, 
Which, when it frowned with aU its battlements, 
Was only terrible" 

On the left the scene is in strong contrast with 
the grand and grotesque mountains we have just 
described. Here, along the steeps of the Allegany, 



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THE OOOKNEYS EXPLAINED. 41 

you catch picturesque glimpses of the winding high- 
way — and, again, you see it boldly emerging from 
the woods at the base of the mountain, and sweep- 
ing on through the open vale, and by the banks of 
the silvery stream, down past the embowered house 
and cultivated lands of Eeese — on — and away, 
until it turns off, and is lost in the mountains. This 
little valley, which but this morning we traversed 
in part, now stretches itself out so far before us that 
it grows indistinct and confused to the sight — its 
fields so diminished in size that they look like 
garden-beds ; the winding stream that threads it 
seeming but a waving line of silver. The picture 
has all the delicacy of a scene in miniature, and 
there is a witching summer-softness over it all as 
of the beauty and the sheen of a voluptuous woman, 
or (if you prefer it) of a ripe peach. Further over 
in the mountains is a wider and more open valley, 
that seems from here almost a plain, and so hazy 
and indistinct are its outlines, that your imagination 
exerts its fanciful power, and you see — dimly — 
vaguely — towers, and temples, and mighty domes, 
revealing themselves before your eyes, as if some 
lordly city was about to grow up upon the plain by 
enchantment. Turning again, and looking straight 
forward, eastwardly, whence we came, and lol 
what ideas of vastness crowd upon the mind ; for it 
is all one vast sea of mountains, as far as the eye 
can behold — range beyond range ever appearing — 



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42 THE Ijf.ACKWATEB OHBONIOLE. 

heaving like the blue waves of some immense 6©a 
— wave following wave in endless aucceseion ; for 
your horizon being bounded everywhere by moun- 
tains, to the imagination there ie no limitj and all 
beyond is wave after wave of the same giant sea. 

Gazing upon this noble acenej the prior of St- 
Philips grew excited — his eye dilated — his soul 
was all ablaze ; and no longer able to hold himself, 
he stretched forth his right hand and gave tongue 
as follows : — 

"Gentlemen, I see into it all now, and if our 
invasion of the AUeganies effects nothing else I 
shall go home satisfied. Onr mountains have been 
greatly slandered — most vilely traduced by th& 
cockneys; and beholding this mighty scene, I'm 
lost in wonder that some man with a large enough 
soul, -hasn't long since put them right before the 
world." 

"That's right, stick it into them, Prior ; give it to 
'em. County, you're the man to do it/' 

" Put to route and everlasting shame the whole 
insolent and conceited herd." 

"Hash them, slash thgni^ 
All to pieces dash them V ^ , 

" Let them have it as Tom Hjer gave it to Sul- 
Uvan." 

" Dress their jackets genteely, Prior." 
"Dont spare either age, sex, or condition," 



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THE COCKNEYS EXPLAINED. 48 

"Begin:— 

*'*0mne8 conticuere intentiqae ora tenebant, 
Sio *"* 

" Sic who ! He dont want any sicking, let him 
go on." 

Silence being restored, and the rage of the expe- 
dition against the cockneys a little mollified by the 
steam it had let off, Mr. Philips plunged epic-wise 
into the middle of things. 

" If I were called upon, gentlemen, to say what 
was the great especial characteristic of our Ameri- 
can mountains, I would reply at once, their immen- 
sity — not the immensity of size, but of extent — 
that they fill the mind with the same order of 
sublime emotion that the ocean does, with this 
difference, that the sublimity, though alike in kind, 
is higher in degree." . 

" Good, good !" 

" How clear he is !" 

" The mountain sea is the actual sea enlarged to 
giant proportions. Standing here as we do now, 
and gazing out into the blue waves flowing in 
toward us from the distant horizon, I want to know, 
gentlemen, what sort of a ship would that be, to 
which these waves would rise mast-high ?" 

*' What sort indeed?" 

" Yes, you may well ask what sort ! not such, I 
take it, as sailed of old out of Tarsus and Tyre, cal- 
ling forth the deep wonder of Solomon ; not such 



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44 THE BLACKWATER CnBONICLE. 

as swept the seas under Nelson at Trafalgar or the 
Nile ; not such, even, as those that now sail under 
the star-spangled banner — that heaven-symbolized 
ensign — challenging the wonder of all mankind; 
not even leviathan, gentlemen, now in dock at 
Portsmouth — the Pennsylvania. Noah's ark, when 
it rode the highest wave of the deluge — the merest 
cockle-shell as it must have seemed in those mighty 
waters, would be a merer cockle-shell in these." 

" Fine. How figurative is his style !" 

" Like Jeremy Tayjor's !" 

" Something of the massive grandeur of Bishop 
Hooker's!" 

" And the perfervidum of Milton's, with a dis- 
criminating infusion of the swash-buckler." 

"And yet, gentlemen," continued Mr. Philips, 
knitting his brows, and concentrating his eyes to a 
focus, as if the object of all his bile stood before 
him, " and yet, though of such grandeur are these 
mountains, filling the mind with such nobility of 
thought, what means all this disparagement that is 
sputtered forth against them by the whole herd of 
modem travellers, abroad and at home, with some 
few honorable exceptions, who talk such downright 
arrant nonsense about them ?" 

" How effectually he puts a question !" 

" What a fool-killer he would make !" 

"The old Silenus riding an ass! Lambaste him 
well, Guy, while you're on him 1" 



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THE COCKNEYS EXPLAINED. 45 

" It is the burden of all these cockneys, gentle- 
men, and particularly of the John Bull, our conain- 
germain, that our mountains are poor concerns. 
Why ? Because (say these gentlemen fresh from the 
land of Cockaigne and thereabbuts) when you liave 
labored and toiled for half a day to get to the top 
of the highest Ararat or Taurus you can find, yon 
can see nothing but endless mountains before yon, 
and always in the farthest distant some giant higher 
still than that whereon, half-dead in climbing it, 
you foolishly expected to behold both the Atlantic 
and Pacific oceans." 

"How he accumulates it upon them I" 

" Piles the agony !" 

" Wood up, County 1" 

" Throw in the bacon sides !" 

" And not true this, even in fact, but mi8ei'al>ly 
untrue. Why, look around you here as you etpiiuh 
The refutation of the foolish nonsense is before your 
eyes. Whaf are all these valleys, great and ettiidl 
— what all these dells and gorges, chasms, defiles, 
passes — these streams and rivers, rivulets and riile. 
Look at that drove o.f fatted beeves, winding yonder 
over the Knobley — the long column seemingly in- 
terminable. What have you to say to that lordly 
city of the far mountain plain, with all its towers 
and domes — its vast palaces looming up to the eyej 
and looming larger as you concentrate your gaze ; 
visible only, it is true, to the imagination, acfed 



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46 THE BLAOKWATEB OHBONIOLK. 

tipon through the deceived sense, but yet a nobler 
city than was ever built by hands!" 

'^ Hold on, Prior, let's hear that again I" 

" Dont speak, Trip ; he's about to touch on some^ 
thing profound." 

** And if such seeming cities, gentlemen, natur* 
ally arise to the eye here in the mountains — natur- 
ally, Lecause the result of natural causes, what 
thougli in absolute fact there is no city there — 
what if it is illusion — all in my eye, as the vulgar 
Bay ? It is only the reasoning mind that tells you 
this* The imaginative mind tells you there is a 
city : mie part of your intellectual organisation 
eays there is not, another part tells you there is, and 
■which do you believe ? Most undoubted, as far as 
the present picture is concerned, the one that tells 
your sense that there before you stands the city. 
And tliere, to all intents and purposes, it does stand 
apparent before you, in all its magnified glory, 
such as was never built by human hands, such as 
can oril)^ be built by human brains, and those of the 
nobler order ; a city up to the standard of the new 
Jerusalem, if your imagination .is of the order of 
St, John's. 

^*Doii*t go in any deeper. Prior, or the subject 
will swim you." 

'^ Devil the bit, its good wading all about where 
he 16." 

'*AU this repeated cant, therefore, about our 



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THE COOKSKYB EXPLAINED. 47 

Ann eric an inoiintaina is not true in point of fact. 
But what if it were? — yes, gentlemen, what if it 
were? And tliis question brings me to the gist 
of the matter. According to the very statement of 
the cockneye, upon their own showing, the view 
now before them, is one that fills the human mind 
with ideas of the highest sublimity ; for what, to the 
man of the largest comprehension, can be more im- 
pressively vast than this same immensity of moun- 
tain ocean that everywhere presents itself to view, 
with all ita heaving, interminable, giant waves!" 

*' There you have knocked the swords out of the 
hands of the puny whipsters I" 

"Killed them dead!" 

" Dead as Julius Csesar !" 

"It's a slaughter of the innocents I" 

'^ It reminds me of the setting down Ulysses gave 
Thereitea in the Grecian campt 

" It's great spouting !^' 

" A whalers 1" 

"Swamping the pigmies in a deluge of ocean 
brine !'^ 

"What a senator he would make! how they 
would crowd the capitol when he let himself out4" 

He's rather high-strung, I think, for the modern 
democracy I" 

"Not so J gentlemen^ the very style and manner 
of eloquence — translucent, bold, free, combining 
imagination with reason — that has prevailed with 



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48 THE BLAOKWATEB CHRONICLE. 

all who speak the English tongue, from the days 
of Alfred the Great to the present time." 

''Gentlemen of the expedition," resumed Mr. 
Philips, wiping the beads from his forehead, and 
with a self-sufficient air that would have done for 
the prince of Tyre, or Xerxes when he ordered the 
sea to be chained, "I think we have sufficiently 
explained the cockneys." 

" Explunctified 'em !" 

^' All to smashes, Prior 1" 

"At all eventSj-gentlemen, I've said my say — 
I've spit my spite, and my soul is now tranquil. 
With a serene exaltation I can again gaze over 
these mountain hillows. The scene is indeed sub- 
lime ! I hear " the mighty waters rolling evermore" 
— a sound as of the jpoluphloishoio thalasses is in 
mj ear. What a manifold ocean 1 Here on the 
right is the classic Mediterranean: — yonder mon- 
strous promontory in among those jagged moun- 
tains 18 Scylla; and wo unto the mariner, who, 
eager to avoid its dangers, falls into the neighbor- 
ing Cliarybdis's awful vortex ! What a going round 
and ronnd and round would be hisl and what a 
swallowing up as he takes the suck — down — down 
— deny down, to the roaring music of the mael- 
strom. Oh! gentlemen, but it would b)B grand 
shipwreck over there. Here to the left, where the 
shining valley shows itself, is the sunny Archi- 
pelago and the Grecian isles ; and that grand city 



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THE COOKKirrS EXPLAINED. 49 

loomiTig up from the waters is Athens — or you 
may have it old Troy— or the glittering city of 
Constantinej by the Thracian Bosphorus. There 
to the north are those * uncouth, boisterous seas,' to 
Tvhose mercy Prancis Drake 'let go' all that was 
left of the iihvlncible armada. Here's the Horn, 
and there's the cape 'of storms' — where you see 
the clouds gather. Yonder hazy point is Hatteras, 
and that tall naked pine is the mast of some yankee 
coaster, wrecked upon its fatal sands. All before 
me is the Atlantic ; and down yonder, fast-founded 
by the wide-watered shore, some fifty sea-leagues 
hence, me thinks I behold the lordly dome of our 
capitol, its gorgeous ensign peacefully flapping its 
folds over the land of the free and the home of the 
brave ! And yet the cockneys say these a'n't moun- 
tains !'^ 

'' God blegs the star spangled banner I" 
" And d — -— d for ever the cockney or what not, 
that would disparage, in any manner, the country 
over which it waves." 

"At another time, gentlemen," observed the Sig- 
ner Andante, '^ I could desire to add something to 
the glorification of our mountains, which the Prior 
hasn't condescended to touch upon : — it is in regard 
to the sylvan majesty of their scenery, in which 
they differ entirely from the European. You have 
no idea how bare the mountains abroad appear to 
our eyee, accustomed to these grand forests. In 



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50 



THE ELAGKWATEK OHBOXIOLE. 



connection with this part of the subject, I would 
like to take the cockneys a turn or twOj upon the 

splendor of the foliage in October — the hues of all 
dyes — particularly the scarlet — 

" • Tbe leayeH that with one scarlet gleam. 
Cover a huirdi:e<i l^agnee and B4iera 
To set tbe hillfi on fire,' 



"But we can't stay here all day." And the 
signor, without a word more, and with all that 
directness and determination of manner that char- 
acterized himj betook himself to his rheda — all the 
rest following — the Prior a little whetted by the 
exercise he took against the subjects of the king of 
Cockaigne. 



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WINSTON AKD ITS CASTELLAN. 61 



CHAPTEK V. 

WINSTON AND ITS CASTELLAN ME. EDWAED TO WEES. 

The sun by this time is riding neariy midway in 
the skies, and we hasten on to the summit of the 
mountain, seven miles up from its base. We have 
climbed " the mighty Helvelyn ;" and, what is more, 
we have said our say in doing it, to the honor and 
glory of the land, and the confounding of its ene- 
mies, their aiders and abettors. Here you gaze over 
the plateau of the wide Allegany ranges — some 
twenty miles across by the road ; and far in the dis- 
tance you behold the Backbone — the Taurus of the 
belt — down whose rugged sides the waters flow 
east;and west into the far seas. 

Some four or five miles on our way, more or less 
descending, on the side of a long hill that slopes 
down to Stony river, we stopped for the middle of 
the day at a large stone inn, kept open to the world 
by "William Poole — Bill Poole seems to be his bet- 
ter-established designation hereabouts — from which 
familiar and easy manner of indicating him and his, 
we take it he is a good fellow, a hon camerado^ in 
his neighborhood. Mr. Poole was not at home, but 



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/ ■ 



«^« 



63 THE BLAOKWATEK CHRONICLE, 

he had left a big viceroy over !iis dominioriB, under 
whose lazy sway some broiling and frying was ac- 
complished, that stayed a little that sacred rags 
about which we spoke in the beginning of this 
chronicle. The hostler also was absent; and find- 
ing no representative of that very* important official, 
we tnrned in and groomed our own horace; and it 
was well done — which says something as to the 
value of being able to take care of yourself in this 
wide world. We took our coate oif, rolled up our 
sleeves, and "pitched in" to the work, according 
to the formula prescribed in the stables of Colonel 
Johnson, of Chesterfield— now dead and gone — 
whose word was once law in all matters of hippol- 
ogy^ — ^orse-talk the unleamt^d do call it. 

*'That hardihood," observed Mr. Eatcut, as he 
twisted a fresh wisp of straw^ '^ which scales monnt- 
ains, penetrates the wilderneas, or subjugates the 
beasts of the chase, while at the same time it re- 
fuses to exert itself upon the needful well-being of 
your iiorse, is but little to be commended." 

^'Kight, Doctor Johnson !" 

** The great Cyrus," said Doctor Blandy, '* did not 
think it beneath him to exercise his care over the 
elephants he took with him on bis expeditions." 

'^ In Egypt, Napoleon always took special care 
of the asses when he went into battle," said Trip- 
to lem us. 

*' King Eichard 11., Shakspeare tells us, fed roan 



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WINSTON AND ITS OABTBLLAN. 68 

Barbary with liis own hands," put in the PrioF, ta- 
king a long breath. 

" If I am not mistaken," said the artist, " I have 
read it in the Iliad that Andromache herself fed 
Hector's horses — " 

" To be sure she did I" said Trip, " and with grain 
which she steeped in wine." 

" What is more directly to the point ?" observed 
Blandy. "Let me remind you, gentlemen, of the 
personal care bestowed by Dugald Dalgetty upon 
Gustavus." 

" Enough," said Mr. Bntcut. " That man is little 
to be envied who does not feel himself all in a glow 
at having accomplished the generous labor of rub- 
bing down his own horse. To my mind, it is an 
evidence of a princely disposition. Nothing, indeed, 
can be more honorable — when you can get nobody 
else to do it for you — but if I rub my 'Gustavus' 
again, if he never gets a rubbing, I hope I may 
never reach Winston!" — And Peter threw down 
his wisp, and washed himself in the horse-bucket, 
after the manner of a hostler. 

With such like stable-talk — of which the above 
is but a small sample — we finished the rites, and 
left our Gustavuses to the enjoyment of their oats. 

In due course of time we once more encountered 
the road ; and after a drive of some twelve miles, 
over the undulating tops of this wide belt of mount- 
ains, down their gorges, tiirough the passes, by farms 



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54 THB BLAOKWATfilB OHBONIOLB. 

lately cleared and green with wild timothy, blue- 
grass, and white clover — the natural growth of these 
fine grazing regions — we at length crossed the Po- 
tomac, and, winding up a long, fair sweep of hill, 
slackened rein before the gates of Winston. 

It was somewhere about five o'clock when we 
won the stone, having driven some forty-three miles 
since we left the pleasant town of Eomney in the 
early morning : forty-three miles of such delightful 
travel as can hardly be found elsewhere within our 
borders. 

We hailed our resting-place with divers and man- 
ifold exclamations of surprise and delight, which 
brought the alert Towers to the hostel-gates, in a 
very broad-brimmed straw hat, stuck all over with 
fishing hooks and lines. The castle of Winston 
stands, like the jcastle of Richmond, "fair on the 
hill ;" and although it did not greet our eyes with 
the feudal grandeur of Norham — with warders on 
the turrets, donjon-keep, loophole grates where cap- 
tives weep, and the banner of St. George flapping 
idly in the breeze, as that famous hold met the gaze 
of Marmion and his train as they came " pricking 
o'er the hill,'' yet it looked cheerful and pleasant 
enough — had an air of something even like elegance 
as the western sun shed its splendor upon it. ITie 
porches with which it was arrayed imparted a look 
as of something " bedecked, ornate, And gay," like 
Delilah, Samson's wife, " this way sailing." Above 



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WmSTO» AISTD ITS CASTELLAN. S& 

all, it filled the mind perforce with comfortable 
thoughts of the mountain-breeze, as it spread itself 
out on the brow of a commamding hill — a grand 
hill, that stretches down for half a mile in bold, 
lawn-like sweeps, to the Potomac : the river here 
flowing along in all wild beauty, some twelve or 
fifteen miles below where it emerges, a wimpling 
rill, from the slopes of the Backbone. 

The castellan or governor of Winston, Edward 
Towers, Esq., met us at the portals, with evident 
gladness in his heart. Bight away, he called for his 
right-hand man Andrew, and proclaimed loud and 
quick his edicts in regard to horses, carriages, lug- 
gage, everything ; every here and there something 
escaping his tongue, imprecatory of his or Andrew's 
eyes, or other parts of their bodies, snch as their 
lights or livers, and even their diviner parts : his 
movements all the while in just keeping with his 
utterance, being wiry and terrier-like, up and down 
instead of longwise — energetic, sudden— just such 
action as hooks a trout without fail, and accounts 
for the governor of Winston's great reputation in 
these parts as a fisherman. 

" Walk in, gentlemen," said Mr. Towers ; " walk 
in, walk in. Aha! well, indeed, you are here at 
last! Looked for you all day yesterday. Devil 
take me ! Where did you come from to-day, gear 
tlemen?" 

" From Eomney." 



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06 THR BLAOKWATEB OHRONIOLE. 

'*By this time! Where did you dine — not at 
Reese's ? Perhaps you had something with you ?" 

'* We stopped back here some twelve miles, at a 
large stone house on the side of a hill." 

*' At Poole's — Bill Poole's. He went up above 
here to-day, fishing, d n his eyes !" 

^^ How are the trout. Towers ?" 

** There's nothing else in the water! I just took 
Andrew yesterday evening, and went up to the falls 
of the Potomac — slept out all night on the hem- 
lock — and by breakfast- time this morning got home 
with over two hundred ! How many, Andrew?" 

'^ You're right." 

'' Yes, two or three hundred. Devil take me, if I 
couldn't have caught a three-bushel bag full as easy 
m not !" 

Tlds information was somewhat exciting, and gave 
rise to a desire, on the part of the more impressible 
int'inbers of the invasion, to commence demonstra- 
tions against the enemy forthwith. With this view, 
Doctor Blandy inquired of Towers the distance to 
th() falls. 

" About eight miles," answered the castellan qui- 
Dtly- 

^^ And how is the road ?" 

"The road — road, did you say! The middle of 
the river is the best road I know." 

''You can't ride to them, then?" 

"There is a sort of a way over the hills, if you 



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WINSTON AND ITS OASTftLLAN. 57 

could find it. But that stops at the laurel, just be- 
fore you come to Laurel run." 

"What's the laurel?" asked Triptolemus, open- 
ing his eyes. 

" You '11 learn enough about it, Mr. Todd, before 
you leave here — more than you '11 care about know- 
ing, I reckon," observed Mr. Towers, with a smile 
of superiority at Murad's ignorance of the laurel. 
" The laurel, Mr. Todd, is the big laurel of these re- 
gions, that borders all the streams ; and it 's about 
as much as a man can do to get through it, let alone 
a horse." 

"Ugh — uh I" replied Trip — which was a queer 
sort of laughing chuckle that characterized that gen- 
tleman upon all occasions. 

It was clear that the falls of the Potomac were 
out of the question that evening ; and notwithstand- 
ing all manner of trout were leaping up and down 
them in our mind's eye, we desisted for the present 
from any further investigations as to the way by 
which they were to be reached. 

" But, Towers," said Mr. Botecote, authoritatively, 
" there must certainly be some place near here where 
we could have some pretty fair sport for an hour 
or so. I would like to add a few fish to your sup- 
per." 

At this announcement, Mr. Towers looked a little 
astonished, and replied, confusedly — for Peter's 
manner was something lofty and imposing — 

3* 

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BS THS BLA.OKWATEB OHBONIOLE. 

*' Oh yes, certainly, Mr. 1 really didn't hear 

your name — " 

** Botecote," said Peter. 

" Certainly, Mr. Botecote — I didn't think of that ; 
I really thought now a couple of hundred might do 
youl" 

" You started with two hundred, raised immedi- 
ately to three hundred — may have four hundred 
by this time — and with all, Mr. Towers, I may pos- 
sibly go to bed only tantalized with them." 

*^ If there is one in the house this minute, there 's 
four hundred, big and little I May the " 

'' Be it so, then, Mr. Towers, and don't swear. 
I'll lay me down here on this settle, and methinks 
I'll take a nap." 

"To-morrow, then, we'll begin the attack." 

" Bright and early." 

"When the hunter's horn is first heard on the 
golden hills." 

** And I'll go with you," said Mr. Towers, " and 
show you the ground. We'll make a day of it — 
fish up to the falls and back. Those that don't want 
to go so far, can stay below here at some pools in 
tlio river. There's one pool that I call Ashmun's 
poolj after Mr. Ashmun of Massachusetts. May be 
some of you know him. . Devil take my lights now, 
if he didn't pull out of that pool a basketful ! One 
of tliem weighed a pound and a half; if it didn't, 
you may drown me!" 



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WIN8TOK AND TIB OASTELLAN. 69 

"tJgli — uhl" exclaimed Triptolemus. 

"No doabt about it," resumed Towers. Ton see 
he fished with the fly, which is a sort of curiosity 
to our fish, and rather takes 'em in for a little while. 
But give me the worm, after all." 

"You fish with the worm, then, Mr. Towers?" 

" Yes — anything I can lay my hands on." 

" Did you ever try the bug?" 

"The bug? what's the bug?" 

" The Prior there has one. You ought to see it 1 
I venture to say that every large trout in the stream 
will make at it." 

" What's it like?" asked Towers. 

" Here's a likeness of it," replied the artist, ta- 
king out his pencil, and drawing a rather exagger- 
ated caricature of it. 

" Devil take me," exclaimed Mr. Towers,. " if it 
won't scare the biggest trout that ever swam the 
Potomac ! That thing I Why, what sort of a bug 
do you call it ?" 

" It's called the trout hum-bug," said Peter. 

" Well, gentlemen, 1 had thought that may be I 
might some time or other try the fly, and see what 
I could do with it ; but if ever you get me to at- 
tempt that thing, may the But there's no use 

talking about it. Gome along, Andrew, and get 
out some oats for the horses. The best oats you 
ever saw, gentlemen. Hustle, Andrew! — hustle 
along !" 



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60 THK BLAOKWATEB OHBONIOLB. 

And 80 away hurried the castellan, with Andrew 
after him — Towers going off with a vehement, per- 
pendicular movement, like one of the old grasshop- 
per engines on the railroad, when under a great 
press of steam. 

" I think the Prior's bug was too much for our 
host," observed the artist. 

" He's a worm-fisher I" said Doctor Blandy dis- 
dainfully. " If I were you, Prior, when I got my 
bug out to-morrow, I wouldn't let him come on the 
same side of the river with me." 

"What a remarkably high mover he is!" said 
Trip. 

" If the governor of Winston's performance comes 
anywhere near the promise of his speech and move- 
ment, we shall fare well, both man and horse." And 
this fair promise was not broken to the sense — it 
was fairly kept. The oats were as fine as ever grew 
— heavy, polished, hard, plump, and golden ; and 
Andrew was only too liberal in dispensing them to 
each whynnying and pawing horse. As for our- 
selves, Gil Bias and Scipio ate no such supper in 
their retreat at Lirias. Fifty fine trout, all beautiful- 
ly embrowned, and like Ate, hot from — the flames 
below, came and went, and came and went again ; 
,and so lightly did they sit upon our bosom's lord, 
that it seemed all illusion — the insubstantial and 
pageant supper of a dream — to divest the mind of 
which fallacy, nothing but the appropriate disposi- 



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WINSTOK AND ITB OASTELLAK. 61 

tion of a series of venison-steaks could suflSce. Af- 
ter some protracted effort, however, in this way, the 
illusion was finally driven out from the mind, and we 
were happy in the content of the succeeding hours 
— hours spent in dreamy silence, or in easy conver- 
sation upon subjects appertaining to the gentle phi- 
losophy of Epicurus. And so, without a disturbing 
thought, indolently reclining around, we whiled the 
time away. 

Thus passing the first hours of the night, at length 
we went to bed ; and while yet conscious of bliss, 
sleep mingled itself stealthily in with the visions of 
the mountains and the rivers that were passing in 
ever-changing procession over the brain : each vis- 
ion growing more indistinct as the long procession 
swept on — until at length, with the splash of some 
leaping traut in your ear, and his bright colors 
gleaming in your eye, sound and sight were gone. 
Such is the sleep of those who travel high mount- 
ain-regions, or sail the salt seas in temperate climes. 
Such was at first the sleep of this expedition, light 
as the early mist on the river. But, by-and-by, its 
folds descended more heavily upon us — heavy as a 
cloud; and then it became musical — ravishing the 
ear of night with a varied harmony, a concord in 
discord of flutes, and soft recorders, and horns — 
the loud bassoon, with every now and then a turn 
of the hurdy-gurdy, and sometimes the drone of the 
bagpipe. Bossini is said to have caught the idea 



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IBS TEE BLAOKWATEE (JHKONTCLE. 

of the song of the harber, in Lis great opera, from 
the braying of an ass< Had he heard this sleep, a 
far more wonderful strain would have Btreamed 
forth beneath the fingers of the immortal composer I 
No Lilliputian slumber shall this chronicle record 
it, if I can help it — but rather that such as swelled 
grandly forth upon the night air, nightly, through- 
out the Brobdignag realms I 



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A 



THE INVASION DETEBMINRD UPON. 68 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE BLACKWATER INVASION DETERMINED UPON. 

The head-fountain of the PotoiAac rises high on 
the eastern side of the dividing Allegany ridge, not 
far below the cone of the mountain, and near the 
boundary-stone planted by Lord Fairfax to mark 
the farthest limit of that princely territory — embra- 
cing all the country lying between the watery of the 
Potomac and Kappahannock rivers — which he inher- 
ited as a grant from the British crown. The Potomac 
is formed, in its very beginnings, by the union of sev- 
eral smaller springs with this head-spring, as they 
descend the steeps of the mountain. The little riv- 
ulet, pursuing its course along the base of the Back- 
bone, is gradually augmented by the springs that 
flow down in every direction through the ravines 
around, until it attains a breadth of some thirty feet 
at the small falls, about five miles below its source. 
Below the falls there are some eight or ten streams 
making into it: the Big Laurel, Little Laurel, Sand 
run, and Shields's run, on the Maryland side ; the 
Horseshoe, Buffalo run, the Dog's Hind-Leg, and 
some others, on the Virginia shore. This accession 



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64 tUe blackwates chbokigle. 

of little streams swells it into quite a sizeable mount- 
ain-river by the time it readies opposite to Winston. 
It is here some sixty feet wide — a clear, fresh, wild 
stream, reflecting every pebble that lies in its bed 
— shaded by stately forests, and fringed with vines 
and flowers. Of course, it is filled with trout ; and 
although it is a good deal fished by those who fre- 
quent here in the summer, yet it still continues to 
yield up its treasure in sufficient abundance for the 
constant supply of the table at Winston. 

For two days we made unceasing^ war throughout 
this Potomac region, as far up as the falls. The 
first day we brought in over two hundred fish, some 
of them of fine size. The second day we took more, 
having invaded some of the larger tributary streams 
mentioned above. So it will be seen we had trout 
in abundance. 

When the third day came round, there was a gen- 
eral desire expressed, when we assembled at the 
breakfast-table, to foray in some new country. We 
had invaded the Potomac in all reason — having in 
these two days pretty well gone over the ground 
hereabouts. The mind of desultory man is still as 
studious t)f change, an^ pleased with novelty, under 
our republican order of things, as it has been here- 
tofore under the older polities of the world. Indeed, 
it is a characteristic of our American Saxon, exceed- 
ing that of all others of the Saxon, or any other com- 
bination. . . . But where to go ? — that is the ques- 



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THE INVASION DETKRMINED UP6N. 66 

tion. Mexico has been taken — and where shall we 
find a Cuba? Some proposed an incursion into the 
Glades, over about Snow creek, said to be unfre- 
quented ground : one was for the Evergreen-glades, 
another for the Oak-glades ; some for the lower Po- 
tomac — but there were rattlesnakes down the river, 
it was said, and that was a damper. In this variety 
of opinion, the indolent policy prevailed: and it 
was determined to pass the day sub tegmine — ram- 
bling over the hills, and in the enjoyment of an 
easy, lounging time of it about the porches of the 
inn. 
. Sitting on the long porch that fronts the river, 
enjoying the cool breeze that seems always to fan 
these hill-tops, some mention, among our other talk, 
happened to be made of " The Canaan," or wilder- 
ness-country, over on the head-waters of the Cheat. 
It so happened that one of our party had been told, 
many years ago, that this land of Canaan was as 
perfect a wilderness as our continent contained, al- 
though it was not many miles away from the Glades 
on one side, and the long settled parts of Hardy and 
Randolph counties on the other ; a country where 
the wild beasts of the forest yet roamed as unmo- 
lested as they did when the Indians held possession 
of our borders ; a howling wilderness of some twen- 
ty or thirty miles' compass, begirt on all sides by 
civilization, yet unexplored. This statement was 
brought to mind by the casual mention of the coun- 



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6$ The blackwateb ohkoniole. 

try as we sat talking upon the porch ; and it led to 
much inquiry in regard to the wilderness. Our 
laudlord, as soon as the subject was broached, en- 
tered largely into it, and dilated upon the wonders 
of the Canaan in very glowing terms. It was only 
a few years ago, he told us, that elk had been killed 
upon its boundaries, not far from the settlements, 
dt a place called the Elk-lick. He said there were 
dt^er in great herds — so wild, that they were almost 
tame. " And, gentlemen," he continued, with great 
animation, "if you can only reach the falls of the 
Blackwater, you can take more trout in an hour 
than you ever took before in all your lives." 

^'Ugh — uh!" exclaimed Triptolemus, with his 
usual chuckle. 

" You don't tell me so 1" said Peter, with open 
eyes and mouth. 

" If you say so," resumed Mr. Towers, " we'll go 
into the country — Andrew can take care of the 
liotise — and we'll have such fishing as was never 
heard of. But understand now, gentlemen, you've 
got to do a little of the roughest and hardest sort 
of walking and climbing. Then there's the laurel 
you must go through. And you mustn't mind sleep- 
ing on hemlock, and in the rain too — it's always 
raining over on the Bone." • 

This was only applying additional stimulus to the 
deeire that had already taken possession of us, and 
at all risks we determined to go on the morrow, pro- 



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THE INVASION DETERMINED UPON. 67 

vided we could secure the aid of two well-known 
hunters of this region to lead us on our way. Ac- 
cordingly, we despatched a messenger to the house 
of Joe Powell, who lived on the borders of the Win- 
ston property, with a request that he would get John 
Conway, another hunter, living some miles farther 
off, and come down in the evening to see us. These 
men came over during the day, and it was all ar- 
ranged before they left us, that we would set off in 
the morning early for the Blackwater. 

Everything being put in train for the expedition, 
we gathered together on the long porch toward 
nightfall, and passed the time in much further dis- 
course upon the Canaan — commenting variously 
on the information we had gathered from Powell 
and Conway, who had been out as far as the smaller 
falls of the Blackwater, hunting deer in the winter- 
season, but had never b^en at the great falls of the 
stream — the existence of which they only inferred 
from the roar of water that filled the forest, when 
they were out there. 

In order that the reader may the better enter into 
the spirit of our wilderness adventure, we will take 
the liberty of introducing him more familiarly to 
our party. 

In a large arm-chair, spread out to the extent of 
his bulk, with his feet resting upon a bench, and 
leaning back against the railing of the porch, sat a 
gentleman — stout, ample, and muscular — with a 



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68 THE BLACKWATER CItttONICLE, 

handsome face, rosy with bloom, and a pleasant 
twinkle of the eye, that told of the mirthful charac- 
ter of his ujind. Just now, though, hie countenance 
waa grave and thoughtful. Rattlesnakes seemed to 
have taken entire possession of him, ever eince we 
had de£ennined upon our march into the wilder- 
ness; and presently he put the following question 
to Mr, Towers, with great emphasis : — 

" Do you think, Mr. Towers, that my big fishing- 
boots — that very big pair, with the red tops, hang- 
ing up against the wall — will save me against the 
bite of a rattler?" 

^' Ohj bless you, Mr. Butcut, there are none in 
these hills. If there were, I can assure you, sir—* 
may I be hang-danged if I would live here a single 
day^ — not even to own Winston! A rattlesnake, 
sir, has never been seen higher up this way than 
Bome two miles below yonder, at the foot of that 
mountain —and then only one^ — and he had to clear 
out. It don't suit 'em up here. Seven miles off 
yonder, on the side of that mountain, there is a den 
of them— where there are a plenty — ^so thick, yoa 
can smell 'em. But they stay down in that region, 
and never come up this way." 

" That's what Powell says ; for I took him one 
side, and asked him particularly about them, I 
think I would go into a fit if I should happen to 
tread an one of the blasted reptiles!" 

*^ Make yourself easy about them. I pledge you 



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f 



THE INVASION DETEBMINED UPON. 69 

mj honest word, there a'n't any up here. The conn- 
try's too cool, or something or other, for them. The 
devil take me — but I believe if I was to see one of 
them, I would jump clean out of my skin 1 I'm 
monstrously afraid of 'em — and I confess it. I don't 
mind a wild-cat — he'll run from you : nor a bear, 
unless it's a she-bear, with cubs — and then look 
out, I tell you ! But rattlesnakes and copper-heads 
my nerves, somehow, won't stand. If I might take 
the liberty — you seem to have a little dislike to 
them yourself." 

" If you would put on, a pair of thick cloth pan- 
taloons, and draw on a big pair of boots outside — 
such as mine yonder. Towers — I should suppose 
you would be safe from a bite." 

" I should hate to trust them any way ; rather not 
be struck at by them at all. Why, they have fangs 
an inch long!" 

" What would you do, if one was to bite you ?" 

"Just lie down and die — give it up at once." 

" Not so," broke in tlie artist ; " no necessity for 
dying at all. Take out your knife, and cut out the 
flesh round where you're struck — suck the wound 
— then burn some gunpowder into it^ — ^and you're 
safe enough." 

" Drink a pint or so of raw whiskey or brandy 
right ofi^," observed the doctor, "and there's no 
danger." 

'^ Not so much from the snake, may be." 



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70 THE BLAOKWATEB CHBONICLE. 

'* If I am not mistaken, I read an account, a year 
or so ago, of an experiment made before the French 
physicians, by which it was ascertained that a flask 
of olive-oil was a certain cure of the bite. Two 
country-people came in, received the bite of a viper, 
swallowed a flask of oil each, and experienced no 
other harm than a little drowsiness for a few days." 

"Swallow a good deal of sweet milk," said a coun- 
tryman sitting by. "I've known that to cure a 
man." 

*^Eau-de-luce," replied the doctor, "rubbed on 
outwardly, and taken internally to prevent coagu- 
lation of the blood, would be good." 

''Well, now," said the countryman who spoke 
before, " for my part, I'm more afraid of a copper- 
bead than I am of a rattlesnake ; for he never gives 
you any warning. He's a night-snake, too — he'll 
bite at night, and the other won't." 

** How much olive-oil have you in the house ?'* 
inquired Peter. 

"I don't believe there's any," replied Towers; 
" but I've got a plenty of castor-oil," if that would 
do." 

" Have you any fish-oil ?" asked Triptolemus. 

" I think we had better drive a cow along," said 
Andante. 

"What would you milk her in?" 

*' In the frying-pan." 

*^ I am free to say, gentlemen," observed Mr. But- 



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L 



THE nrVjLSION DBTEBMINBD UPON. 71 

cut, ^^ that I have more confidence in the brandy 
than anything else ; and, as that is more at hand, 
we'll each take a flask with us, in case of acci- 
dents." 

This proposition was readily assented to — and 
with it the subject of the rattlesnakes was about to 
be dismissed ; but in the meantime the artist had 
taken out his pencil, and drawn a caricature of But- 
cut pursued by a rattler — his hair on end — eyes 




^'"^ -^^ 'J^^-^ . t/e-^^^NCr-.:^^ 



wide — nostril distended — fishing-rod, with a big 
trout on the end of it, dropped — -and the rattler, 
with about twenty rattles on his tail, and his crest 
raised ready to strike, in hot pursuit I The carica- 
ture was Well enough. The castellan was both as- 
tonished and delighted. "Isn't it like him?" he 
exclaimed, and broke out into what an old-country- 



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73 THE BLACKWATEE OHBONICLB. 

man of my acquaintance used to call an inibrumpt 
laugh^ and took the drawing off to show it to his 
wife. Returning, he looked upon the Signor with 
more of deference than he had been disposed to 
show him before. His countenance had something 
of mingled wonder and delight as he fixed his eyes 
on him — some such expression as a man of the mid- 
dle ages might be supposed to wear on his face as 
he gazed upon some imposing magician or sorcerer 
that had just performed a wonderful feat of art. 

The rattlesnake terror had now altogether van- 
ished. The caricature had killed it effectually ; and 
the conversation took another turn. 

" Towers, what wild animals are there over in the 
wilderness ?" 

" Plenty of them — bears, wolves, panthers, deer 
in crowds — some few elk, I reckon — and otters, 
and badgers — all the animals that ever were there." 

" Do they ever attack you ?" 

" Not unless they are particularly hungry, which 
can't be at this time of the year. Your fire at night 
will keep them away from you, any how ; though I 
have heard it said the panther has been known to 
walk between a party sleeping and the fire at their 
feet." 

" That, I suspect, was a dream of some one who 
had gone to sleep with the wild beasts running in 
his brains." 

"You have nothing to fear from the animals. 



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THE nrVABION DETERMINED UPON. 73 

The only thing you have to fear is losing your- 
selves. But Powell and Conway are good woods- 
men ; and, besides, they have been partly in the 
country. There is a story about, which I 've heard 
ever since I've been living up here, that a good 
many years ago a stranger went into the Canaan, 
and was never heard of afterward. Years after, 
the skeleton of a man was found by some of the 
hunters thathfid ventured furthest into the country." 

"That's very pleasant information for us, Mr. 
Towers. Do you think there is any chance of our 
leaving our bones out there ?" 

"Every man runs his chance." 

"The devil he does! Why, this Canaan is not 
altogether more than some twenty or thirty miles 
of country in length, and, I suppose, not wider. 
How could a man well get lost in that compass ?" 

"Oh, very easily. Why, in those mountains a 
man could walk about for a week, from sunrise till 
sunset, particularly if he got into a big laurel-brake, 
and never at any time be five miles from where he 
started, unless he blazed his way." 

Mr. Botecote mused somewhat seriously for a 
while upon this information, but finally came to the 
.conclusion that the lost man and the skeleton was 
a fable, and that it was nonsense to talk about his 
being lost in any five miles of country. This 
seemed to be the conclusion of the rest of .us; 
There is some such legend always told by the bor- 

4 



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74 THE BLAGKWATER OHBONIOLE. 

derers upon every wild country. But, again, such 
things are rather probable. Men have been lost 
before in countries far less wild than the Canaan 
turned out to be. However, we entertained no 
apprehensions of encountering anything worse than 
some endurable fatigue and hardship ; . and the con- 
versation passed off into general pleasantry and 
merriment, in which the castellan of Winston came 
in for a pretty good share of rather free raillery, 
aimed at those more prominent peculiarities, which 
the reader will by this time recognise as belonging 
to him. 

Murad the Unlucky, who had not said a word for 
an hour, but sat with his lame appurtenance thrown 
over the back of a chair, apparently drinking in the 
conversation like mothers' milk, now broke speech 
to the following effect : — 

" Well, Mr. Powers, I've just been thinking what 
a mighty talker you are ; you talk about like a 
horse I have at home runs. He beats everything 
in the whole country — but you can't rely on him; 
he won't keep the track." 

" Why, you don't think so, indeed 1 Devil take 
my lights, I thought I was slow !" 

"Don't you think you stretch it a little, Con-^ 
ners?" said Murad, expressing himself a little 
plainer. 

"Every word true, Mr. Todd; blast my eyesl 
and more too ; I haven't told you anything." 



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THE INVASION DETERMINED UPON. 75 

" What ! all that about the rattlesnakes, and the 
bears, and the panthers, and elk, and such crowds 
of deer, and especmlly that about finding the bones, 
of the lost man 1 Ugh ! uh I" Here Murad muBed 
a moment, and went on. "Towels, are you any 
relation to the Conners down our way ?" 

It must be observed that Murad, among his other 
unlucky traits, had an unlucky way of confounding 
the names of all persons he encounteied — a vice 
of his intellectual composition that nothing could 
eradicate ; and so upon this occasion, Towers's name 
was mixed up in his mind with Powell's and Con- 
way's — the two hunters — so inextricably, that he 
had none of them straight. 

"To the Conners, did you say, Mr. Todd? The 
Conners I Devil take me, if I ever heard of any 
such people !" 

" Why, as you are of the same name, I thought 
you might be some kin." 

" May the' devil ! — blamenation ! — if ever I saw 
— Conners — my name isn't Conners ! 

" There you are. Trip — at it again," said Peter, 
who seemed to take Murad under his especial su- 
pervision. "I'll swear, gentlemen, he hasn't 
called any single man, woman, child, or horse — 
anything by a right name, since we left home. 
Why, Triptolemus, Towers's name isn't Towels, or 
Powels, or Conners, or anything of the sort It's 



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76 THE BLAOKWATEB OHRONICLtt. 

Towers^ Towers^ Towers — T-o-w, Tow^er-Sj crs 

— Towers!" 

" Well, what's the odds ?" said Murad, ** It don't 
make any such mighty difference. But you're 
some kin, a'n't you, Powels ?" 

" Well, I dare say I am, if I only knew distinctly 
which of my relations you mean. But what makes 
you think so?" 

" Why, you talk so fast, and so much, that you 
remind me of one Connel, a lawyer down our way 

— a great pleader — who can out-talk any man I 
ever lieard, until I had the pleasure of making your 
acquaintance; has a great gift of what they call 
the gab. You're a Virginian anyhow, aVt you, 
Towds?" 

*^ I don't know what he is now, but his ancestors 
came out of Babbleon," said the artist. 

"Suffered under the old Babbleonish captivity," 
chimed in Galen. 

" From which the race haven't yet been entirely 
redeemed," put in the Master. 

"Well, that's pretty well; but, may the devil 
take me, if I don't think some of Mr. Todd's an- 
cestors must have come out of the tower of Babel !" 

"Right," said Peter — "right, governor. It's 
the only way of accounting for his confusion of 
names. And by the way. Trip, if you would bear 
the lower of Babel in mind, it might help you to 
get Towers's name right." 



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THE INVASION DETEEMINKD UPON. 77 

" It wont do," said the artist. His mind is essen 
tially a transposing one. He'd have it the bowei 
of Table!" ' 

" I give it up, then," said Peter, and he threw 
himself back in his arm-chair, with an air of resig- 
nation. 

" Well, but, gentlemen," said the doctor, in his 
very pleasant, gentlemanly manner — (Galen was 
very deliberate when about anything like a witti-* 
cism, and having studied one out to suit himself, 
some time back, he was determined that it should 
not be lost, notwithstanding the conversation that 
made it appropriate had gotten away from him) — 
"Well, but, gentlemen," said he blandly, and witli 
a certain tickling sensation of pleasure upon his 
countenance, "this is letting Mr. Towers escape us. 
When we were Ainning him about Babbleon just 
now, and fixing upon him a Babbleonish extraction, 
it occurred to me there must have been also some 
of the old Greek blood in him." 

"How do you make that out, doctor?" said 
Towers, smiling. 

" Why, by tracing your descent. Towers, in part, 
from the very famous old lawgiver of Sparta, Ly- 
curgus." 

"How is that? Who was this Lycurgus?" said 
the castellan, evidently very much flattered at the 
idea of being descended from any man with a name 
that he didn't understand.- 



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78 THE BLAOKWATEB.OHBONIOLE. 

"He was an old Qreek, Towers — a Lacedemoni- 
an," said the Prior, taking up the doctor's idea — 
" an old fellow named Curgus, one of the Curguses 
of Sparta — a very remarkable family of people. 
But in the course of his life this old gentleman had 
told so many stories, about one thing or another, 
that by way of distinguishing him from the other 
Curguses, the people of his parts used generally to 
. call him Curgus, the story-teller or romancer. The 
length of this designation, however, being contrary 
to the genius of the Spartans, who were a people 
of few words; they shortened it by calling him 
Lie-Curgus, which after a while came to be his re- 
ceived name." 

"There were a great many other distinguished 
Greeks who acquired their names in the same way," 
observed the artist, " there are the Liesanders," 

"And Lysemachus — a condensation yon per- 
ceive, of Lies he makes v^P 

"The Greek genius is characterized, from the 
earliest ages, by an aptitude for invention." 

" What monstrous fabrications some of those are 
which Homer relates I" 

" Don't talk about them," said Triptolemus, " my 
back stings me every time I think of them. The 
whippings that I've had on account of them, are 
reall}^ horrible to think of." 

" What were you whipped for. Ml* Todd ?" 

" Ignorance of Homer, Mr. Towels ; undoubted 



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THB INYA8IOK DJfiTKHMLNKD UPON. 79 

ignorance, sir — clear — clear as day — not the least 
mistake about it. But my ignorance of that 
difficult language, Mr. Connel was owing to my 
aversion to stories. Had Homer told the truth 
about the siege of Troy, I should have mastered 
him. You see, Towels, my feelings somehow or 
other were born on the Trojan side ; and as soon as 
I began Homer I knew it was all a Greek lie : you 
may say, therefore, that I fell at Homer. But don't 
distress yourself at this little passage in my biogra- 
phy J I can assure you I haven't the same strong 
feelings in regard to your interesting account of the 
Canaan, although I must say I don't exactly believe 
all you tell us." 

"May the devil roast my lights and livers, gen- 
tlemen, if I don't begin to believe you really think 
I have been stretching it a little about the Black- 
water. Now do you know I haven't told you half 
I could tell you. The man's bones were found out 
there — I saw 'em myself— and for the deer, they 
are just in thousands ; and as for bears, why one of 
'em had Andrew by the throat — I mean, devil take 
my lights — up a tree down here for an hour, one 
day, not two miles from this house — yes, on Win- 
ston — and he shot him too — didn't you Andrew? 
And if you find a rattlesnake out there, why, I'll 
just give you leave to eat me, lights and alU As 
for the elk, I'll bring you a man, living not far from 
here, who will swear to you .that he saw one him- 



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GoQgle 



80 THE BLACKWATEB CHEONIOLSL 

Pelf, that was shot, not more than three years ago, 
JMow I'll tell you what, gentlemen, Pll take an even 
bet with any of you, that you get lost notwithstand- 
ing you've got Powell and Conway with yon — two 
as good woodmen as ever went into the woods." 

" I don't care if we do," said the artist, ** I'll fish 
in the Blackwater in spite of my hones." 

"If all the wild beasts of the wilderness bowl 
around my path, I'll stand by Hie Signer's bones," 
said the Prior. 

" If I could only feel certain abont the rattle* 
snakes," said Peter, " it would take off the only 
weight oa my mind. But between my boots and 
the brandy, I will defy them." 

"The idea of driving a cow in for the milk cure is 
abandoned, I suppose." 

"Put up a plenty of provisions^ Towers- I can 
stand anything better than starvation/* 

" Yes, gentlemen, and if you don't come back on 
the day you say, I'll get up a party and go in after 
you." 

"Eight — right; but I thought you were to go 
along, Mr. Powway." 

"There you are again, Trip, its intolerable — 
absolutely ridiculous. Will you never learn to call 
him Towers! You have no idea how it disturbs 
the flow of the conversation." 

. "I think, gentlemen," said Galen, delicately sug- 
gesting it, " that if Triptolemus would commit some 



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THE INVASION DETERMINED UPON. 81. 

verses to memory that had the word towers in 
them, he might possibly control this bias he labors 
under." 

" A good idea — try it, Trip." 

" Ugh — uh I" said Murad, with his peculiar ejac- 
ulation. " There you're too much for me again, I 
don't think I ever knew any in my life." 

" Well, then, gentlemen, we'll give him some." 

"Begin — some one." 

" I will, willingly," said Peter. 

"'Day Bat on Norham's castled towers^'" — 

" Day didn't," said the artist, " it set on Norham's 
^ castled steep^ — that won't do. Try it again." 

" I have a glimmering of a line that ends with 
hostile towers — but I can't make it out exactly." 

" The gentle Surrey," said Galen, and then stop- 
ped short. 

"What of Surrey?"* 

" I thought it was something about towers — but 
it isn't — it's 4oved his lyre.' " 

"That's it— that will do," said Trip, "that will 
remind me of him — if you can find nothing better." 

"There's a verse, gentlemen," said the Prior, 
" that has something about towers hedight — but I 
can't come at it. It ends with temples cmd towers 
hedight. Do any of you remember it ?" 

"Towers bedight! — Towers be d— d! — Lets 
go to supper," said the artist. And to supper we 
4* 



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8S THE BLACKWATEE CHBOmOLE. 

went — Towers bedight or Towers be- what yoii 
pleaee, leading the way, and altogether delighted 
at the prominent figure he cut in the evening^s 
conversation. 

The eupper had a subduing effect upon the viva- 
city of our spirits ; and so, with a due regard to the 
Blackwater invasion on the morrow, we retired 
early to bed. The bright clear moon looked in ana- 
plcious through the curtains of our windows — and 
to the gentle lullaby of the Allegany night-breeze 
we fell fast asleep. 



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THE DALB ON THE FOTOMAO. 83 



CHAPTEK YII. 

* 

THE DALB ON THB POTOMAC — AND A SOMEWHAT PAB- 
TICUI-AB DKSOBIPTION OF THB ARRAY. 

It was somewhere about four o'clock next morn- 
ing when we began to give out in sleeping ; and so, 
lightly and airily, with gentle breathings, whisper- 
ingly, we now soon finished off the last delicate 
touches and roundings of our dreams about bears, 
and panthers, and rattlesnakes, and lost babes in 
the woods (meaning thereby ourselves), &c., &c., 
just as the early cock uplifted his clear clarion, 
and roused his dame Pertelotte and all the attendant 
damsels of the roost from their slumbers. 

How finely our old first poet — he who 

"left half told 
The Btory of Cambusoan bold,^ 

— famous Chaucer — head of the English poet peer- 
age — has pictured the gallant chanticleer: — 

" His oomb was redder than the fine oorall, 
Embattled as it were a castel wall ; 
His bill was black, and as the jet it shone, 
Like aznre were his legges and his tone, 
His nails were whiter than the lily flower, 
And like the burned gold was his colour." 



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84 THB BLAOKWATBB OHBONIOLE. 

And how, with the soul of eloquence and poetry 
he makes him discourse — hear again : — 

"He knew hy kind, and by none other lore, 
That it was prime, and crew with blisfal steven, 
The Sonne, he said, is olomben up on heven, 
Twenty degrees and on, and more jwis ; 
Madam Pertelotte, my worlde's blis^ 
Herkeneth the blisful birddes how they sing, 
And see the fresh flowers how they spring ; 
Ful is mine harte of revel and solas." 

And again ; what a lordly cozener is our chanti- 
cleer — what handsome flattery of his dame — and 
with what pleasant humor h6 trifles with the sex. 

"But let us speak of mirthe, and stinte all this, 
Of o thing God has sent me large grace. 
For when I see the beauty of your face, 
Ye ben so scarlet red about your eyen, 
It maketh all my drede for to dien : 
For all so sicker as, in principio 
Mulier est hominia in confusio^ 
(Madam, the sentence of this Latin is. 
Woman is man's joy and man's blis.)" 

And then how like a prince — royal in his port, 
and gallant is he — very much after the model of 
Henry IV. of France, when in the* midst of his 
dames. 

"He loketh as it were a grim leoun, 
And on his toos he rometh up and down : 
Him deigned not to set his feet to ground : 
He cjiukketh when he hath a corn yfound, 
And to him rennen then his wives alle.** 



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THB DAUS ON THE FOTOMAO. 85 

The reader is now aware, that some time since, 
the early cock had proclaimed the momiDg. In 
the beautiful verse of Chatterton — 

"The feathered songster chanticleer, 
Had wound his bogle-horn, 
And told the early mountaineer 
The coming of the mom." 

It is now broad day, and the ruddy streaks are 
beginning to glimmer in the east. Up rise we, then, 
one and all, and shout aloud, '' For the Blackwater !" 
The doors and windows are thrown wide open, and 
the mountain atmosphere — three thousand feet here 
above the sea — is all about us ; and if you have 
never tried it, O unblessed lowlarider ! you can have 
no idea of its extremely animating powers : there 
are few things more stirring to both body and soul. 
It compels to many extravagances of both speech 
and action. Especially it makes you sing, whether 
you can or not : and so it was that, chanting songs 
of the morning, we made our orisons to the god of day, 
Phoebus Apollo, now emerging in all-unutterable 
glory through the golden portals of the east : — 

"Thou splendid luminary ! honored, in some form 
or other, by all the nations of old ; proclaimed prince 
of the lights of heaven throughout all the realms of 
Christendom ; worshipped by the barbarian, wonder 
of the savage ; saluted in thy rising with the clash 
of cymbals and gongs, and the flourish of trumpets 
and horns, the roll of drums, and the roar of morn- 



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86 THB BLAOKWATEB OHBONIOLE. 

ingguns; man everywhere doing thee homage — 
in the old East, prostrate with slavish adoration; 
here in the new "West, standing erect (as I do now), 
and with dilated chest, pouring out his soul in 
hymns of praise, as befits his free-born nature! — 
Great Godnsend of all mankind I particularly of all 
poets and orators ; filling the world with the grand- 
est of the grandeurs of simile, and trope, and meta- 
phor ; also at the same time usefully beneficent in 
imparting both light and heat, without which this 
earth would be about as dark and cold as a rat-hole, 
and almost as fit to live in — really the dim spot 
that a disconsolate philosophy would make it out 
to be I — Beneficent and beautiful mystery ! such as 
thou art here in thy rising over these broken and 
piled-up AUeganies ; lighting up the grand counte- 
nance of Nature around, as with the smile and the 
glory of a god I no wonder that all languages and 
tongues, even from the Ohaldee down to our mod- 
ernest Brother-Jonathan dialects, should be exhaust- 
ed in the utterance of such a worship." — ("Good- 
morning, Mr. Towers. You seem to be in consid- 
erable astonishment. Take a seat. The expedition, 
through Mr. Butcut, is addressing the great lumi- 
nary, whose gorgeous rising we take to be a happy 
omen for our enterprise.") — " Fountain of light and 
life! — hailed by the choir of birds; encircled by 
clouds of gold ; fair as a bride and fiery as a bride- 
groom! thee to resemble — thee! — that was the 



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THE DALE ON THE POTOMAC. 87 

very boy's first wish and proud desire, througli every 
vicissitude of fortune, amid the glitter of prosperity, 
above the tempests of mischance, to maintain an 
tmdecaying splendor I" 

After this address to the rising Splendor — part 
of which was made once before by Alcibiades when 
a banished man in Thrace at the court of Eang 
Seuthes — where, it will be remembered by the 
learned reader, he outdrank the whole barbarian 
court — the king, queen, princes, courtiers, warriors, 
ladies-in-waiting, and all — thus fulfilling his match- 
less destiny — peerless in everything, even in these 
wild Thracian orgies — after this addressto the great 
luminary, we speedily arrayed ourselves, and forth- 
with appeared below-stairs, as respectable and pic- 
turesque a set of outlaws in appearance as ever 
robbed a rich grandee of his gold, plundered mon- 
astery or cathedral of old of its molten gold and sil- 
ver, or bore away shrieking maidei^ to the hidden 
fastness in the forest. 

It was in this order that we began our march : 
Three of us were on horseback, with wallets hung 
across our saddles, containing the provant for the 
expedition — which provision consisted of six large 
loaves of bread; some pounds of ground coflfee; 
sugar ; about ten pounds of middling of bacon, to 
fry our trout with ; a boiled ham ; salt, pepper — 
and that's about all. Cigars and tobacco to smoke, 
each adventurer carried about his own person, to- 



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&- 



88 THE BLACKWATEE CHRONICLE. 

gether with a flask of spirits to cure himself in case 
he was bitten by a rattlesnake, or perad venture to 
prepare his system beforehand against any delete- 
rious effects from the bite — a somewhat unnecessa- 
ry precaution, indeed, since we were all pretty well 
convinced there were no snakes in the Canaan. 

Three of us were afoot — two of our original party 
andPowell, oneof the hunters — he equipped, among 
other things, with his rifle ; Conway, the other hunt- 
er, we were to pick up on the way. 

We were to ride and walk alternately — ride and 
tie — until we reached the end of the settlements, 
which was as far as we could take the horses. 

Pursuing the Northwestern road some three miles, 
we reached the top of the Backbone ridge. Here, 
turning at right-angles to the left, we followed a 
mountain-road along the top of the ridge for some 
miles, which at length took its course along the 
eastern side of the mountain, gradually growing into 
a mere single horse-track, until we reached Con- 
way's house, the last settlement in this direction. 
Here we picked up Conway, with his rifle and fiy- 
ing-pan ; and after a walk of some six miles or more 
through a most noble forest of sugar-trees, the beech, 
maple, wild-cherry, balsam-firs, and hemlocks, and 
over tracts of land wonderfully fertile, judging by 
the great size of the trees, and the growth of the 
wild timothy upon one or two slight clearings we 
passed through, we at length descended into a beau- 



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THE DAI^ ON THE POTOMAC. 89 

tiful little glade — more properly a dale in the mount- 
ains — some three hundred yards wide and two or 
three miles long, where we were to turn out our 
horses to pasture until our return. 




This dale is girt round upon its edges by a broad 
belt of the Hhododendron — commonly called the 
hig laurel out here — which makes the dale a safe 
enclosure for keeping our horses ; for it is impossi- 
ble that a horse can make his way through it, so 
thick and lapped together everywhere are its branch- 
es. We had to enter it by a path cut out for the 
purpose. When within, we barricaded the entrance 
by piling up some young trees and brushwood 
(which was equivalent to putting up the bars in a 



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90 THE BLACKWATEB CHEONIOLB. 

fenced field), and rode on down the middle of the 
wild meadow, through green grass, knee-high, and 
waving gently in the summer wind, until we reached 
a small* stream, whose banks were overgrown with 
osiers and other delicate shrubs. This was the infant 
Potomac, destined before it reached the sea to expand 
into that mighty river on whose broad bosom whole 
navies may ride in safety or "flame in battle ;" and 
also famous all over Christendom for that it holds 
fast-founded by its shores the capital of the star- 
emblazoned republic. Here we halted and dis- 
mounted — took off saddles and bridles — turned 
our horses loose — and prepared ourselves to enter 
the untrodden wild that rose up before us, dark 
with the glimmer and the gloom of the immemorial 
woods ! 

Before the expedition moves, it is necessary that 
we should enter into a few particulars descriptive 
of the adventurers in the new aspect in which we 
are about to present them to the reader. 

Behold, then, at about one o'clock in the. day, 
the knights-errant of the Blackwater, in the middle 
of this little grassy dale of the Potomac. Let us 
point them out to the reader by name, and in a gen- 
eral way by character. 

First, there stands before you a slight, elastic, 
and somewhat gaunt gentleman, with a dark, con- 
centrated eye, sunk deep beneath a marked and 
rugged brow. The expression of his face at pres- 



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THE DALB ON THE POTOMAC. 91 

ent is particularly indicative of that sort of energy 
and determination of character, which is very apt 
to make its possessor what is vulgarly called 
headrdevil in all matters, of feud, foray, or what- 
ever enterprises that might be classed under the 
designation of marauding — all dare-devil achieve- 
ments. The imagination of the wilderness before 
bin), has called into play these latent qualities of 
his nature. This gentleman wears a beard, after 
the fashion of the middle ages, that has held undis- 
turbed possession of his lower face for now some 
fifteen years ; with all his present slirroundings, it 
gives him the look of a brigand as in a picture; 
meet him in the streets of a capital, and it would 
impress you with the idea that he was a practition- 
er of astrology, or some other occult matter — may 
be some Italian philanthropist, or revolutionary 
conspirator — the friend of liberty all over the 
world, wherever liberty had a market : his disdain 
of a feather and all melo-dramatic show of appear- 
ance, precludes any idea of the Hungarian, as re- 
cently impressed upon our minds. He wears a 
green cloth cap, with a straight, projecting square 
visor to it, like the European military caps. An 
old black coat, with gray pantaloons, and a pair of 
rough boots with large red tops — these drawn on 
outside complete his dress. He has no small wal- 
let strapped to his back — a blanket ajid a great 
coat rolled up constitute it. Around his neck 19 



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92 THE BLAOKWATEB OHBONICLB. 

suspended an artist's sketch-book. In his right 
hand is a frjdng-pan. This is our artist, the Signor 
Andante Strozzi. Of course, he is of the illustrious, 
Florentine family of that name, some one of his 
ancestors having escaped from the feuds and broils 
of Italy, some centuries ago, and taken refuge on 
these shores. The name has changed so much in 
the course of time, and one thing and another, here 
with us, that you would hardly recognise it, as it is 
spelt and pronounced now in these days of demo- 
cratic disdain of all things appertaining to a man's 
name and lineage. "We, however, las more learned 
friends, and not too extreme in our democracy, 
choose to call him, according to the old Italian spel- 
ling and sound — Strozzi. Tliere is a Dutch family 
in Pennsylvania, the Strodes, who are disposed to 
trace their origin in the same way from the Strozzi ; 
but this they have no right to do. The Strodes are 
Teutonic in their descent ; they are the old Saxon 
— the undoubted High Dutch : Stride was the name 
originally. The Strides, Striders, Strodes, and all 
these, are of German extraction, and in fact the 
same people originally. Our friend is the true 
Strozzi, however ; and he shows his Italian origin 
by the peculiar beard he wears, his love of and ge- 
nius for the arts (particularly those of painting and 
music), and some slight brigandish characteristics 
that belong to him, which last make him a some- 
what dangerous antagonist for man or beast to dally 



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THE dale: on the POTOMAC. 93 

with, and therefore one in every way the very per- 
son for an expedition into the Canaan — a man who 
would langh a bear in the face, and take particular 
pleasure in pitching into a panther ; one who would 
be about as careless of consequences in any encoun- 
ter as either of these two last-named gentlemen I 
So much for the Signor Andante Strozzi. 

That stout, thick-set, well-knit gentleman, whose 
manner is somewhat eager, with face in a glow, 
eye red, and mouth open — look at him! He is 
laboring at present under an undue quantity of ex- 
citement. The idea of the wilderness has electrified 
his system into intense sensation. His ideas are 
exaggerated out of all bounds. He has just finished 
strapping on his shoulders an immense wallet, big 
enough for a mule to carry. But he looks stout, 
and broad, and strong — is well made — and you 
think it is all right, and that he has generously 
loaded himself according to his greater power. 
Well, he'll be tested presently. This is the gentle- 
man who had the pleasant conversation with Tow- 
ers yesterday, on the porch, about the rattlesnakes. 
He wears an old brown sack-coat. His boots are 
drawn on outside his pantaloons, and they are very 
big, and stout, and rough, and reach up to his 
knees : he bought them as a special defence against 
the rattlesnake. On his head' he has a broad- 
brimmed, black, slouch hat. On his shoulders he 
has the aforesaid large roll. In his right hand he 



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94 THE BLACKWATER OHBOKICLB. 

has a stick of laurel, with portions of the root at- 
tached, and which is as tall as himself. Tied to his 
waist behind is a bit of sheepskin with the wool on 
it, that he may have something soft to sit down 
upon when he rests himself in the wilderness. You 
perceive he goes in for the conveniences of life. On 
the whole survey of this gentleman, you would say 
that he was the make and look of a man to lift or 
carry a heavy weight, or to pull up a sapling by its 
roots — to hit a hard blow ; good at knocking down 
and dragging out ; but not the best show of a man 
for a hard walk, or climbing mountains, or getting 
well through a halt*mile brake of the rhododendron. 
This is Mr. Britcut. 

That thin, sinewy, hard, tough-looking gentleman, 
resting himself upon his sound leg, which is his left, 
and a-tiptoe on his right, which is his broken one, 
shortened and stiffened at the knee, is Mr. Triptole- 
mus Todd — our Murad the Unlucky. In consider- 
ation of his lameness, it has been decreed that he 
shall carry no burden ; yet of his own accord he 
has mounted Powell's rifle, the muzzle of which he 
has pointed right in among us ; but, as he is un- 
doubtedly the most heedless man in the United 
States, we have taken care that there shall be no 
priming in the pan. This remarkable gentleman's 
mind has been, somehow or other, impressed with 
an extraordinary idea of the wonderful and amazing 
in regard to the Fairfax stone, and he is now look- 



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THE DALB ON THE POTOMAC. * 95 

ing away off up the dale, as far as possible, to see 
if he can't discover it. He has a confused idea in 
his mind that this Fairfax stone is the biggest thing 
of its sort in the state of Virginia ; but he has no 
definite idea about it : it may be like the rock of 
Gibraltar, or the rock of ages ; it may be a basaltic 
pillar, like Lot's wife, or it may be a great, huge 
tablet, upon which some boundary hieroglyphics 
have been carved. Of course, therefore, he has no 
very definite idea of the sort of tiling he's looking 
for. Just at this moment something vague looms 
up before his intent gaze into the distance, and his 
face is all ablaze with excitement as he exclaims, 
stretching his long, sinewy arm far before him, with 
his fingers spread out, and all pointing different 
ways — '^ Fellows^ yonder* 8 Fairfaxes stone /" Mu- 
rad is a light, wiry man, of some five feet ten 
inches in stature ; and, without going into particu- 
lars, we will only say of him that he has a look of 
exposure about him, as if the heavens — cold and 
hot — the suns of August and the snows of Decem- 
ber — had been contending for him for many years, 
with such equal success, that neither of them had 
been able to take him entirely. His dress is a very 
indifferent one.. It is torn in several places already ; 
and the fear is that before we get back he will have 
none of it, and that we shall have to paint him, or 
rather stain him with the juice of berries, to pre- 



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9o THE BULOKWATER OHBONIOLE. 

serve him from absolute exposure — fix him up like 
Prince Vortigem — 

"A painted vest Prince Vortigern had on, 
Which from a naked Pict his sire had won I** 

To tell the whole truth in regard to Murad, there 
never was a man that went upon an expedition of 
any sort with so little preparation and under such 
unlucky circumstances. He had but one suit of 
woollen clothes with him, all the rest being light 
summer linens, of no use here. His pocket-book, 
with some bank-notes in it, he left behind upon his 
table, and had only a small purse with some six or 
seven dollars of silver in it. He had a note in bank 
for a thousand dollars, due three days after he left 
home, and for which he had made no provision ; 
and, in the hurry of shaving himself to get off in 
time, he had cut a great gash in his cheek, which 
gave him a look as of a sabre-cut received years 
ago at some such battle as Borodino or Waterloo, 
or on Pompey's side at Pharsalia, where Csesar's 
veterans aimed at the face. — But enough of Mr. 
Todd : the reader will now be able to picture him 
sufficiently well for the ptfrposes of this narrative. 

The next gentleman that we sh&U introduce is 
Doctor Adolphus Blandy. You see him there over 
on the otheB side of this little rivulet, the Potomac, ' 
in the act of taking an affectionate leave of that 
powerful dapple-gray with the bobbed tail. He 



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THB DALE ON THB POTOHAO. 97 

has just imprinted a kiss upon the soft muzzle of 
the gray. His gentle heart is touched that Rinaldo 
has to be committed to the rude mercy of the wild 
beasts of Canaan for so many days ; and with a tear 
of repentance that he brought him here, and a sigh 
of regret that he has to leave him, has made his 
farewells — half in fear he shall never see Binaldo 
again this side of horse-heaven. The doctor is a 
very- dainty gentleman^ and given much to personal 
elegance of life. He is equipped at all points. His 
large boots come fully up to the knee, and they are 
soft and pliable, naade of the best French leather. 
His doublet-coat is substantial, with many conveni- 
ent pockets, and fits him comfortably. He has a 
quarter-dollar rough straw-hat, tied round with a 
red riband in a good bow-knot. As he is near- 
sighted, he wears a pair of gold spectacles. Blandy 
is a large, fine-looking man, and he is of an easy 
and gracious presence. There is a sort of disdain 
about him of the big wallet that he has strapped to 
his shoulders; he seems to feel that it should be 
borne by a menial. He has evidently been trained 
to a life of luxurious ease — like Dives, has been 
clothed in purple and fine linen, and fed daily upon 
dainties. Ennuied with indulgence, he has come 
into the wilderness, to purchase, at the expense of 
its hardships, a new zest to his existence — a zest 
which the fortune of his condition can not other- 
wise afford him. — But enough of Blandy. Let us 

5 

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98 THE BLA.CKWATEB CHBONIOLB. 

picture to you another gentleman, — remarkable 
among the spns of men — also among their daugh- 
ters- 
There, off at the edge of the vale, at the foot of a 
branching tree, stands one who is no bad idea of the 
famous knight of La Mancha, if you would only 
suppose the immortal Don to have been not quite 
so raw-boned as history has recorded him. This 
gentleman is somewhat tall, and of a loose and 
dangling aspect, in keeping with the somewhat care- 
less ease of his character. To look at him now, as 
he stands, you would suppose him in the act of pro- 
pitiating the god of the wilderness with votive offer- 
ing^ for he has just finished hanging up on the 
loweratost branches of that beautiful and fairest 
tree all the saddles and bridles, and other horse- 
equipments, rowelled spurs and whips, &c. ; and 
with his large and lustrous eye (" heaven-eyed crea- 
ture," as Wordsworth calls Coleridge) resting in 
pleasure upon the picturesque grouping he has ef- 
fected of them, you easily imagine him some deep 
enthusiast of the forest, hanging his votive offerings 
upon the wilderness-god's shrine. Lingering he 
stops, absorbed in what he has done ; then turns 
slowly away, and having reached the party in the 
middle of the dale, he exclaims earnestly, " Well, 
gentlemen, I don't think the wild beasts can eat up 
our saddles and bridles, spurs and whips, any how 
— no matter what they may accomplish ^pon our 



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THE DALE ON THE POTOMAC. 99 

horses !" This gentleman is Mr. Guy Philips — the 
County Guy — the Prior — but more properly the 
Master of St. Philips, for St. Philips is the name of 
his hold, where he keeps the world at bay. He is 
somewhat tall and delicate of form, of a high visage 
and a lofty carriage — and, as we have said, taking 
away the idea of the gaunt appearance of Don Quix- 
otte, is not very unlike that immortal champion of 
the right and redresser of the wrong. The Master 
is a man of middle life, and has seen something of 
both man and woman in his time, both high and 
low. In many a gay and glittering scene of revelry 
has he wasted the golden days of his exuberant 
youth — his heart swelling to the sounding minstrel- 
sey, and his soul entranced by love and beauty. 
And also, like the good Lord Cliflfbrd, he has been 

" In huts where poor men lie" — 

and there learned a wiser lore than life could other- 
wise teach him. The Master has long since learned 
much sound knowledge in his time — that pleasure 
is of the things that perish in the using — that wo- 
man's looks teach but folly — that there is a great 
deal of good sense in the Proverbs of Solomon, And 
wisdom in the Ecclesiastes, &c., &c. ; in fact, he 
has begun to knov^ that Solomon Was a very wise 
man : and, arriving at this distant glimpse of truth, 
he has taken to the woods and rills, and has learned 
how to be reasonably happy. But what would she. 



edbyUboQlF 



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100 THE BLAOKWATEB CHBONIOLE. 

the beautiful Mary Dale, think of him could she 
see him now — he who ere while basked in the sun- 
shine of 

"Her eyes' blae languish, and her golden hair I'' — 

could she see him now, his whole countenance shed- 
ding rays of joy in every direction, like a golden 
a/ureola on an angel's brow, as he puts his hand to 
his mouth and sounds a loud and prolonged bugle- 
call from out the midst of this lovely dale, while all 
the mountains round cry out responsive with their 
thousand voices 1 "Alas, poor Guy I" she would 
say, " I little thought when surrounded by mirrors 
that multiplied our image, in rooms gorgeously fes- 
tooned with hangings of burnished gold and silver, 
and reclining on couches softer than the bed of roses 
the emperor Verus dreamed himself away on — I 
little thought that you, then stealthily playing with 
the tangles of my hair, and openly fettered by 
my eye, would ever come to such wild destiny as 
this!" 

The reader may now picture to himself our two 
guides, the hunters Powell and Conway, and he has 
the party complete — Powell a thin, sinewy, and 
yet muscular man, witli long, straight locks falling 
down from his head like strands of rope ; with a pil- 
low-case thrown over his shoulders, in which was 
our provision : and Conway a short, wiry, stringy, 
thick-set little structure -of whipcord, equipped in 



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THE DALB ON THB POTOMAC. 101 

like manner as Powell — each with his rifle and 
pouch. 

But we are dallying too long here in the dale — 
we must up and away ! Let us begin the march, 
however, in another chapter. 



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102 THE BLAOKWATEK CHBONIOLE. 




CHAPTER VIII. 

THE MABOH INTO THE OANAAN. 

Powell is in the lead followed by Conway, and 
we all start with a shout upon our walk — jumping 
the baby Potomac with a bound, and falling into a 
line of single file — winding through the long grass 
by a track made by the deer coming down into the 
dale to drink. The Signer waved his frying-pan 
alofk, and shouted out gayly the burden of some old 
hurrah song. The Master doubled up his hand and 
blew upon it for a buglet. Peter capered along 



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T9B HABCH INTO THE CANAAN. 103 

nimbly, in dancing measure, like a fairy on the 
green — big wallet and all. Trip threw ont his 
game leg, sweeping it against the tall grass, as a 
mower sweeps his scythe. And the Doctor took his 
last lingering look of Einaldo — waved his lily hand 
and sighed adieu — 

"Adieii, fop eTermore, my lore, 

And adieu, for eTermore !* 

• 

The horses snorted and plunged around us, with 
their tails flung over their backs, and hovered 
along our line, until we came to the belt of laurel 
that girts the edge of the meadow, when they 
wheeled, and left us to our fate — and we them to 
theirs. In a few moments we were breaking our 
way through the thick tangled branches of the 
laurel, and in mud and water half up to our knees. 
But we fought the way gallantly, and, gaining the 
firm ground, began the ascent of the mountain by 
a winding deer-track — the same we had followed 
through the dale. 

About half a mile up we halted by the little Elk- 
lick — a deep and wood-embosomed gouge — as the 
hunters called it — in the side of the mountain, filled 
with black marsh-ooze, in which were little pools of 
stagnant, saltish water. Here the boldest held his 
breath for awhile, in expectation of getting a shot at 
a deer. But whatever chance there might have been 
for this, it was soon destroyed by the loud outcries 
of Mr. Butcut, who was yet some distance down the 



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104 THE BLAOKWATEB OHBONIOLE. 

mountain. Presently that gentleman came up, with 
his face about the color of a full-blown peony, the 
perspiration rolling down from him, and blowing 

hard like an over-driven horse. " Oh I I'll be 

if I can stand this," he gasped out vehemently. 
" By the Apostle Paul I gentlemen" — (Peter is very 
familiar with Shakspeare, and is the best amateur 
actor of high tragedy in our country to-day ; had 
he gone on the stage early in life, he would have 
undoubtedly acquired an unsurpassed name in our 
theatrical annals) — " By the Apostle Paul ! gentle- 
men," he exclaimed in a manner unconsciously 
tragic, " this mountain has cast more terror into the 
soul of Eichard than he can well endure." And re- 
lapsing immediately into the commonplace, he went 
on. " And don't you all know well enough, gentle- 
men, that Fm rather thick-winded at best, and here 
you have fairly run away from me up this infernal, 
all-fired hill, as you call it — hill indeed 1 Powell, 
how far are we from the top ?" 

"Not more than a mile or so, I reckon, Mr. 
Butcut." 

"A mile or so! There it is — I knew it would 
be this way. Fellows, let's turn back." This he 
said bigly. It was received with a burst of derision. 
" Let me make a proposition. If you turn back I'll 
agree to pay all the expenses of the expedition, 
from home and back." 

" Fiddle-de-de I" said one. 



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THE HABOH INTO THE CANAAN. 105 

" Devil take you and all expenses of all sorts 1'* 
said another. 

" Not for your whole estate, in fee simple 1" said 
a third. 

"No money can buy us I" said Triptolemus. 

" Hear me, gentlemen," said Mr. Butcut, entreat- 
ingly, "of course I had no idea that the money 
could influence you. I didn't mean that. I'll give 
the money to any charity you may designate. And 
Powell and Conway, I'll give you five dollars more 
than you were to get." 

"Not so I" said the artist, "you shall do no such 
thing 1" 

" We don't want anything more than was agreed 
upon !" said both PoWell and Conway. 

"Ugh, uhl" said Triptolemus. "You advised' 
me not to come, did youl" 

"You'll get along better, Peter, after the first 
blow or two I" 

''The cu)quirit vires eundo^ will apply to you 
after awhile, But, don't entertain any despair !" 

" I can't stand it, gentlemen, I tell you, and carry 
this load on my back — I'm no horse I" 

It ^ill be perceived by the reader, that Mr. But- 
cut made a very determined attempt to break up 
the expedition, here at the Elk-lick, but all to no 
avail. Hismutinous designs were promptly crushed 
in the bud. It being clear that nothing was to be 
5* 



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106 THB BULOKWATEB OHBOKIOLB. 

gained in tliis way, he was determined that he 
would get rid of his burden. 

^^ Well, gentlemen," he said, laughing, ^^ I confess 
that I've failed in my vigorous effort to turn you 
back : thaf s no go^ certainly : — of course I wasn't 
in earnest But really, seriously speaking, Fm no 
horse, and can't carry all this load." 

<^ What's a blanket and a great-coat to a stout 
man like you, two feet and a half at least over the 
shoulders ?" 

" K you think it's nothing, suppose you just feel 
it." Here he unstrapped his wallet, and handed it 
roimd for inspection. It was, in fact, a great deal 
heavier than any of us had imagined, large as it 
looked. So it was determined that he must be 
lightened of his load. Accordingly the wallet was 
unrolled — and no wonder it was so heavy; for 
instead of containing merely a single blanket and 
a great-coat, the blanket was found to be a large 
new double one, and in addition to this, there was 
an old, thick- wadded coverlet of a bed, commonly 
called a Yankee-blanket, that had been used as a 
saddle-blanket, until it had grown doubly heavy 
from the grease and perspiration it had accumulated 
in a long horseback service. Peter, very provident 
of his creature comforts, with the intention of being 
extra luxurious when in camp at night, had very, 
quietly, and unknown to the party, secured this 
treasure to his own use. It was really, therefore, 



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THE KABGH VSTTO THB CANAAN. 107 

no such great wonder that the first half-mile of the 
Backbone had been too much for him. Such a 
mountain is a pretty stiff encounter for a man of no 
snperfluons flesh, and the soundest lungs — and so 
the lightest of us found it ; but a thick-set, stout- 
built, two hundred pounder of a gentleman, yet in 
the soft condition, and with not the best breathing 
apparatus in the world — a butcut like But, will 
attest the quality of his metal, whenever he at- 
tempts to match himself against the Bone of the 
Alleganies, and that, too, even though he has not 
a heavy-wadded blanket additional in his wallet. 

The reader will understand now, that the only 
thing really the matter with Mr. Botecote, was that 
he had overloaded himself, as was intimated when we 
were down in the dale of the Potomac. So, hanging 
the discountenanced encumbrance upon a limb of 
the nearest tree, he took heart again, and once more 
grew animated with all the hope of the Blackwater. 

"Come, move on, men," he exclaimed, as he 
strapped on his shoulder his now diminished bur- 
den. " This is something like. I can stand it now 
with any of you. Move on, Powell." 

And the expedition moved again. It was hard 
work in good earnest. But we went on up the 
rugged steep, scrambling our way as best we could, 
now through the thick underwood, now in among 
great masses of rock, and over fallen trees so de- 
composed that they would not bear your weight, 



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108 THK BLACKWATEB OHBONIOLV. 

until we reached what seemed to be the top of the 
mountain. Here those who were foremost called a 
halt, and sat down to rest upon a mossy log that 
imbedded you for about a foot. The others came 
straggling in — Triptolemus falling in, with his arms 
spread out before him, and his lame leg out in the 
air behind, as though it didn't belong to him, and 
crying out as he pitched in, " I say, fellows, is this 
Fairfax's st6ne ? Ugh — uh 1 Here I am 1" 

" Fairfax's stone I" said Peter, getting it out as 
his breath would allow. " Fairfax wouldn't have 
climbed this hill for all the six millions and a half 
acres of his inheritance. I take it he was a man of 
too much sense. Heavens — but I'm nearly gone I 
How far are we from the horses, Powell ?" 

" About two miles, I take it. Its about two miles, 
Conaway, up to here f Yes — so I thought." 

" Come, move on, men. There must be no muti- 
nous conversation indulged in. Peter's for a revolt 
again, I see," said the Signor. 

Peter was now rested, and he resented the impu- 
tation with many valorous words. 

" No, gentlemen, no such trifle as this wilderness 
shall prevent me from fishing in the Blackwater ! 
It isn't more than two or three miles off, Powell, is 
it? And down hill, you say, from here?" 

" We are over the worst of it now, Mr. Butcut," 
said Powell. 

"Move on men — move on men," said Peter, 



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THE MABOH INTO THE CANAAN. 109 

"but don't go too fast — I'm afraid Mr. Todd can't 
keep up with us." 

^'tJgh — uhl Never mind me, I can get along 
with any of you." And here Trip pitched over a 
rock and disappeared (his game leg last) into a 
thicket, laughing out his ^igh — uh! and presently 
he came into line again, as if nothing had occurred 
more than he looked for. 

The wilderness was growing wilder. We had, 
some time since, lost all trace of anything like even 
a deer-path. Still, pleasantly, and in fine spirits, 
we pursued our way. Now we had to climb some 
steep hill-side, clinging to the undergrowth to pull 
ourselves up, and now we would come up against 
a barrier of fallen trees — some of them six feet high 
as they lay along the ground,' and coated with moss 
half a foot thick — some so decomposed that they 
recreated themselves in the young hemlocks and 
firs that grew up out of them — some more recently 
fallen, with great mounds of earth and stone heaved 
up with their roots ; these mounds sometimes cov- 
ered over by other trees thrown across them, and 
thus affording shelter to the wild animals from the 
snows and storms of winter. Oyer all these we 
would climb and roll ourselves across ; and some- 
times, such obstruction did they present to our 
course, we would be obliged to make a detour 
round for the length of a quarter of a mile may be, 
and find ourselves only advanced a hundred paces 



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110 THB BLAOKWATEB CHEONICLK. 

on the straight line of our route. It was thus we 
went along — up-hill and down — now along the 
side of a rib of the mountain — now over its cone, 
and now along it — down through deep rarines and 
up out of them, and scarcely able at any time to 
see further ahead than some twenty yards, so thick 
were the leaves about us ; and not often able to 
catch a glimpse of the sun, so dense was the mass 
of foliage urnbrellaed out everywhere above us. 
Still there was a great wild deh'ght in it all ; and 
by this time we had become somewhat inured to 
the work ; we were beginning to improve in con- 
dition, and we felt our sinews and muscles coming 
into better play every step we took. 

After awhile, thus pursuing our steady advance, 
we came to a small rivulet, trickling its way down 
a shallow ravine, and evidently making its course 
to the west. This was a little rill that sent forih its 
mite, high up in these loftiest regions, to form the 
waters of the Cheat river ; the Cheat falling into 
the Monongahela — the Monongahela into the Ohio 
— the Ohio into the Mississippi — apd so to the 
great Atlantic reservoir. It was clear, now, that 
we were on the other side of the Backbone. 

"This water, gentlemen," said Powell, "is ma- 
king for the Blackwater. We are across the Bone." 

" How far now, Powell, before we reach the 
falls?" asked Petei^. 

''Well, I reckon about four miles — maybe." 



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THS MABOH INTO THE OANAAN. Ill 

" Four miles ! It can't be. It's no such thing. 
Why, Mr. Powell, didn't you say distinctly, that it 
was but four miles altogether from the place we 
left the horses." 

"Oh, no — I didn't say that! I told you, we 
could bring the horses along to within about 
four miles of the falls — over to another glade, 
which we will come to before long." 

"I'm deceived, gentlemen. We have all been 
deceived by these men. Conway is this the case 
that Powell says?" 

"Powell knows the country better than I do. 
He's nearly right, I guess. I should suppose now, 
we are about four miles away." 

" Gentlemen, hold on — stop," said Peter, "I've 
a proposition to make." 

" You had better not be left behind," said the 
Signor, "you might get lost out here. Keep up 
with the line." 

On we went, increasing our pace a little, for the 
day was hying westward; and if we intended to 
reach the Blackwater by nightfall, there was no 
time to waste. 

" This is intolerable !" said Peter. " It's all non- 
sense — not a particle of sense it. I say — hold on, 
I've a proposition to make." 

" I don't think we are treating him right," said 
the Doctor, a little tired himself. " It isn't fair — he 



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112 THE BLAOKWATKR OHRONIOLB. 

might be suffering. We ought to halt, and hear 
what he has to say." 

As Peter's voice was strong — altogether unim- 
paired, there was a rather general impression that 
there was a good deal of good walking in him yet. 
But we halted and threw ourselves down upon the 
moss. 

"What's the proposition? Let's have it while 
we are resting — for there's no time to lose." 

"Well, gentlemen, its strikes me we ought to 
encamp." 

This was met with a general dissent. 

"It's my opinion we are lost," continued Peter, 
"decidedly lost. These men have deceived us. 
They start out by telling us that its only four miles 
from where we left our horses to the Blackwater. 
Well, we left them at one o'clock, and it's now five 
by my watch. We've been four hours in coming 
here — and Pm nearly dead at that! Now they 
tell us they've got yet more than four miles to go I 
I don't believe they know themselves where we are. 
I believe we are lost, and that we are walking 
about here for. nothing. Powell, tell me, didn't 
you say just-now that this little rivulet was one of 
the sources of the Blackwater?" 

" Yes— and I think so still, Mr. Butcut." 

"Only think sol There it is, gentlemen. He 
don't know where he is. I don't believe we are 
near the Blackwater." 



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THE MASOH INTO THE OANAAK. 113 

" Nor I either," said Triptolemus, who grew un- 
easy at the idea of being lost — remembering the 
story of the lost man, and the bones that were found 
out here. " If I could have seen Fairfax's stone, I 
might have had some confidence. How can this 
little stream make the Blackwater, when it's as 
white and clear as any water we have seen ?" 

" Yes, Murad's got it 1 How can it be, Powell ?" 

" Well, gentlemen, it's no use talking. I am in 
the right direction. Don't you say so, Conaway ?" 

"Yes, I do." 

" Well, that's all," continued Powell, a little miffed 
for the moment, " that I can do for you. There a'n't 
any finger boards out here to point out the way. 
All I can do for you is, to take a general direction 
right, and I know I must hit the Blackwater some- 
where — a mile or two higher up, or lower down." 

"But we've been four hours getting here, and 
have come but four miles, you think ; and have four 
more to go, you say !" 

" Well, no man need expect to see the falls of the 
Blackwater without some sharp walking. A mile 
or a mile and a half an hour, in a straight line — 
which would make two or three, twisting about as 
we have to go — is about as much as we can make 
out here. I could have brought you -a straighter 
course — down through the big laurel, you know, 
Conaway — but if ever you once got into that, we 
know you would be glad enough to be out again 1 



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114 THE BLAOKWATEB OHBQNIOLB. 

— and 80 we have been trying to head the laurel as 
much as possible." 

" Eight, men — you are right," said the Signer. 

" I am not so entirely certain," responded Adol- 
phus, " but we must abide our fate now." 

"Right— all right." 

" I withdraw what I said, men," observed Peter, 
it just occurring to him that if the guides should 
take it into their heads to leave us, we would be in 
rather a bad way. "I was very much heated just 
now, and a good deal blown — that's the truth ; and 
the mind, you know, Powell, will take the hue and 
tone of the feelings. This little rest has put it all 
right, though." 

" Handsomely done, and philosophically account- 
ed for." 

"Move on, Powell — it's all right!" 

The Signer waved his frying-pan encouragingly, 
and the Master blew away upon his hand-bugle. 
With restored spirit, the expedition once more 
dashed along through the forest. Up started three 
or four deer from the bushes, and, showing the un- 
derside white of their tails as they threw them over 
their backs, with a leap and a bound they were lost 
in the forest. Murad ran after them a little way 
out of the line, and pitching down presently over 
some rough ground, his lame leg up in the air, he 
laughed out his "Ugh — uh!" and gave up the 
chase, saying, as he fell into line again — 



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THE MARCH INTO THE OANAAN. 116 

" They are monstrous swift. How the fury they 
get over the rough ground so fast,.! can't see 1" 

"They were born so," replied old Conway. 

" It's a gift to them," said Powell. " Every ani- 
mal has his gift. It's their protection. The bear 
climbs, and the deer runs." 

The hunters discoursing their lore of the forest, 
we came down to the edge of some swampy ground, 
and found ourselves in front of a wide stretch of 
laurel, tangled and thick everywhere around. To 
cross it — as it was clear it 6ould not be avoided in 
any way — the hunters looked about for the best 
place to go in. At length, finding a spot that bid 
the fairest, they made their way into the brake, and 
desperately after them we all followed, ad best we 
could. Such pulling and tugging — such twisting, 
plunging, breaking, crashing, and tearing — 

"I Dever remember ever to have heard" — 

or seen. Here was one held fast by his wallet, and 
twisting about like an eel to get himself loose ; there 
another who had got upon a huge fallen tree — thus 
avoiding the laurel by walking along its surface as 
far as it reached through the swamp ; but it was so 
decomposed, that presently he sank into it up to his 
arms — and he was stuck. Here another who had 
reached a stream, walking in it as far as in its wind- 
ings it kept a course that corresponded with our 
direction. There one grown entirely desperate, and 



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116 



THE BLACEWATEB CHKONICLE. 



endeavoriog to break his way through by main 
strength. The hunters took it more knowingly, and 
would search about for the thinnest places — some- 
times going back upon their tracks when they would 
get into a very thick part of the brake, and trying 
it another way. 



1^ 







To tell how at last we all did get out, overtaxes 
any powers of description that I possess. Peter suc- 
ceeded eventually, and threw himself down on the 
ground entirely exhausted, murmuring something 
about the other side of Jbrda/rij and the laurel be- 
ing a ha/rd road to t/ra/oel. The Prior came ashore 
with his big knife, open in his hand, having at length, 
— like Wit in Moore's song — ^'cut his bright way 
through." How Triptolemus got through has never 



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THE MABCH INTO THE OANAAN. 117 

yet been fairly ascertained ; but it is believed by 
the whole expedition that he fell through the most 
of the way — for whenever we had any glimpse of 
him, his head was down and his feet up. Somehow 
or other the passage was successfully accomplished ; 
and, after resting sufficiently, we took up the line 
of march, with a unanimous request of the guides 
that they would avoid all the laurel that it was 
possible, by any skill of their woodcraft, to get 
round. 

" And this is the beautiful rhododendron, Adol- 
phus, that you and I have been trying so hard to 
grow," said the Master. 

" I'll pull it all up as soon as I get home," replied 
Galen spitefully — "if, indeed, I shall ever see that 
blessed spot again." 

" No — I'll now have a thicket of it at the Priory, 
if it is only that I may be able to demonstrate, when 
I grow old, the miracles I shall recount of this ex- 
pedition." 

"A good idea," said the artist. "I'll make a 
grand national painting of it, and call it * The Pas- 
sage of the Laurel.' " 

" And hang it up by Leutze's ' Passage of the 
Delaware.' " 

" Couldn't you put Fairfax's stone somewhere in 
the picture?" inquired Trip. 

" Oh, certainly," returned the Signor, " and draw 
you, Trip, pitching into it !" 



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118 THE BLACKWJlTER OHBONICLB. 

^' Have Butcnt stuck up to his shoalders in a de- 
composed hemlock, and a bear after him I" 

^' A rattlesnake, too I" 

" A panther or so I" 

" And some owls about!" 

" I'll try and do the subject justice, gentlemen," 
replied the Signor. '^ Ko historical feature shall be 
left out." 

Thus commenting on the passage of the laurel, 
we moved on ; and after a while, descending a long 
hillside, we came to the head of a glade, through 
which a stream of some size ran — its waters of a 
light-chocolate hue. We were very much jaded by 
this time ; and so we threw ourselves down upon the 
soft, beautiful gra^s, knee-high everywhere around, 
and for half an hour enjoyed such grateful rest as 
seldom comes to the sons and daughters of men 
who stay in civilized regions ; it recompensed even 
the laurel, so exquisite was the rest, and so gorgeous 
the bower where we took it I 

**And then he said, 'How sweet it were 
A fisher or a hunter here, 

A gardener in the shade^ 
Still wand'ring with an easy mind 
To build a household fire, and find 

A home in every glade 1 

" < What days and what sweet years I — Ah me I 
Our life were life indeed, wilh thee 

So passed in quiet blisa^ 
And all the while,' said he, ' to know 
That we were in a world of wo, 

On such an earth as this!' 



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THE MABOH INTO THE OANAAN. 119 

*<And then he sometimes interwore 
Fond thoughts about a father's love : 

'For there,' said he, 'are spun 
Around the heart such tender ties, 
That our own children to our eyes 
Are dearer than the sun. 

" 'Sweet Ruth I and could you go with me, 
My helpmate in the woods to be, 

Our camp at night to rear — 
Or run, my own adopted bride, 
A sylvan huntress at my side, 

And drive the flying deer!' 

" 'Beloved Ruth I'" 

Such thoughts filled the teeming brain of the Prior, 
as he lay half sleeping in the beautiful glade. — But 
we can not follow him in his dreams of wild bliss ; 
for we must go into another chapter, and bivouac 
for the night. . 



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120 THB BLA.OKWATEB OHBOHIOLB. 



CHAPTEE IX. 

THE LODGE IN THE WUDEBNESS. 

While yet the Bun in his westward journey had 
but about an hour to go, before he left the Canaan 
to darkness and the expedition — not to mention the 
bears and owls, &c., about — a snake stole into our 
bower, and disturbed the heavenly repose of the 
glade. A very harmless, inoffensive little grass- 
snake — polished and slippery, disturbed by the 
rolling about of some one of the party, wound itself 
along swiftly over one of the extended arms of 
Doctor Blandy, as he lay sprawled out upon his 
back — gazing up into the heavens, and dreaming 
dreams of the balmy summer's eve. Galen sprang 
to his feet, and jumped some ten paces off into the 
meadow. Whereupon we all did the same. It was 
a rattlesnake at least to our startled imagination I — 
until we saw, to our shame, that it was not. Being 
on our feet, however, the word was given to take 
up the line of march again — and off we went: 
the guides being of opinion, that by crossing the 
ridge before us, we would come upon the Blackwater 
by night. 



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THE LODGE IK THE WILDEBNES8. 121 

"We made our way out of the glade, encountering 
but a small strip of laurel ; and once more filed 
into the dense wild forest. As we advanced we 
grew more and more silent. We were evidently 
beginning to flag in spirit. It was our first day, 
and we were not yet inured to the toil. Every 
now and then some startled deer would give a little 
life to the party — but it would not last, and we 
trudged aloiig almost noiseless over the mossy 
ground. Instead of the country's giving indication 
of our being near a stream such as the Blackwater, 
it was growing more hilly and broken ever since 
we left the glade. The shades of evening too, were 
fast closing in upon us. Something was wrong — 
we ought certainly to have reached the Blackwater 
before this. The hunters were evidently in doubt 
about their course, and they now held frequent con- 
sultations with each other. They had told us before 
we set off from the dale of the Potomac, that they 
would certainly take us to our destination by night, 
and they were anxious to accomplish their purpose ; 
they feared their skill as guides would be called in 
question if they failed in what they had been so 
certain of accomplishing. It was now near sun- 
down, and we were hemmed in, on all sides, by 
mountains. The impression that we were really 
lost was uppermost in the minds of all of us ; and 
presently we held a general council — the result of 
which was, that if we did not come to some indica- 



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122^ THE BLACKWATEB OHBONICLE. 

tion oir the Blackwater, when we crossed the next 
ridge, we would encamp for the night. 

Crossing over this ridge, everything looked as 
before. It was all the same rugged, dense, dark, 
^®®P5 grand gloom of mountainous forest that we 
had left behind us — no appearance of laurel — the 
sure harbinger of water ; no such sloping down of 
the hills anywhere, as looked like the descent into 
a valley, such as a stream of any size would find its 
way through ; and above all, listen as intently as 
we might, no sound of a waterfall (such as we were 
assured would greet our ears from the river we 
sought) was mingled with the song of the evening 
wind. Therefore there was but one voice in the gen- 
eral assembly of the expedition — and that was to 
halt for the night, and take counsel of to-morrow's 
Btm as to our direction. Finding a little trickling 
rill in the bed of a rugged ravine close at hand, we 
resolved upon taking up our abode by its waters 
for the night. Accordingly the most appropriate 
spot we could find was selected; and, throwing 
down our burdens in a pile, we commenced the 
construction of a camp, with a great deal of busy 
bustle* As the reader unacquainted with the ways 
of a wilderness, life, may take some interest in 
knowing how this was done, we will enter, for his 
benefit, into the particulars. 

In the first place, then, the hunters set to work 
and gathered together a number of dried logs and 



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THE LODGE IN THE WILDEKNES8. 123 

limbs of trees, that they found scattered about the 
forest, making a pile some ten or twelve feet long, 
and three or four feet high. They then picked out 
the driest bark and branches of pine they could 
find, and laid them about through the pile. Next 
they raised some firb by striking sparks from the 
flints of their rifles into tow, and carefully applying 
this to the pine bark and other combustible wood 
they had gathered ; it was not long before we had 
our wood-pile in a blaze — which was soon in- 
creased into a spreading and swelling flame, by the 
young hemlocks and fir trees that we were busily 
engaged for some time in cutting down and throw- 
ing upon the pile. 

While a part of the force were engaged in this 
work, others were busy in arranging the camp. 
The ground was cleared away in front of the fire, 
and this place was covered over with the softest 
branches of hemlock that we could gather — two 
of the party being out cutting for the purpose. A 
large log was brought and laid along the back of 
the camp, and this was covered over to the height 
of two jor three feet with hemlock and fir branches, 
serving as^ a sort of wall to protect us from any 
intrusion from that side, of beasts, or what not, that 
might be disposed to invade us during the night. 
The camp was so arranged, that, when we slept, our 
heads would be against this barrier, and our feet to 
the fire. The sides also were filled up bet\veen the 



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124 THE BLAGKWATEB CHBONICLB. 

trees with branches. When it was all completed, 
we had a tenement — a lodge in the wilderness — 
the ground floor of which was hemlock branches a 
foot deep, three sides, also, hemlock and fir, and 
the fourth side a wood-pile, twelve feet long, four 
feet high, and all afire. And the roof above us : — 

** Tie the blue vault of heaven, with its crescent so pale. 
And all its bright spangles — quoth AUen-a-Dale I" 

and where will you find a grander in a king's palace. 

Our rifles, bags of provisions, coffee-pot, tin-cups, 
and frying-pan — all we had, were safely deposited 
in one corner of the lodge. The wallets were un- 
rolled, and the blankets, great coats, &c., &c. — 
including the knives and pistols, were thrown out 
for use. Having cut down as many small trees as 
would serve to keep the fire going for the night, we 
now assembled in the camp, and commenced prep- 
arations for supper, for which we were by this 
time about as ravenous as the beasts of a menagerie 
about feeding time. The bread, biscuits, and cold 
ham, were brought forth. The sugar was untied. 
Conway sat about preparing the coffee: Powell 
started the frying-pan on the hot embers, and soon 
had it hissing and crackling with the slices of fat 
middling of bacon with which he filled it ; until at 
length the more delicate aroma of the hemlock was 
lost to our noses, in the ascendency of the bacon-side. 

Those of us who were not engaged in these en- 
ticing preparations, were lying about on the hem- 



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THE LODGE IN THE WILDERNESS. 126 

lock, enjoying ourselves in the abandonment of 
forest undress — that is^ in our stocking feet, with 
ungirded vest, unsuspendered ; and spread out 
around, in all the various attitudes that it was pos- 
sible for a set of tired men to stretch themselves in. 
At length the supper was announced as ready — 
and then it was devoured. To say that it was 
merely eaten up, would be a preposterous defama- 
tion of any ideas of eating, such as the word gen- 
erally conveys in civilized life. In an exceeding 
short space of time, of all the liberal preparation, 
there were, at all events, nj) visible evidences re- 
maining — except^ the table-service — the tin and 
the iron. It was as if a set of jugglers had suddenly 
juggled it out of sight — caused it all to evanish. 
It convinced my mind more thoroughly than any- 
thing I have witnessed in my somewhat varied life 
— that man is, by nature, a wild beast. Reduce 
him into his original elements — take off all this 
varnish, this overlarding^of civilization — put him 
out in the Canaan here for about a month, and 
what beast is there of the wild that will out-raven 
him ! Poetry, philosophy, arts, and science — these 
have humanized him ; and made him, even when 
he is most starved, wave his hand to his friend, and 
with a smile upon his countenance, say, Take the 
first grab^ as did the famished Signor to the rapa- 
cious Butcut — which made the yet unsatisfied 
Blandy hand over the last slice pf the middling to 



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126 THB BLACKWATER CHBONICLE. 

lame TViptolemns, and belie himself, when he 8ai<1, 
Take that, Trvp^ Fm not Orhungry. The reader 
will perceive, from this, that the wilderness had 
not yet made ns altogether savage; also he will 
perceive thongh, that its tendency is toward the 
dehnmanization of man — the resolving him into 
his original simple element of wild beast. 

I would take advantage of this occasion — all the 
great historians do so — to philosophize a little npon 
the absolute necessity there is for good government 
over mankind — that there should be good laws, 
and firmly maintained — how stability and order, 
and the social decorums, that make nations refined 
and great, and keep them so, are thereby only up- 
held: how otherwise, man will soon convert the 
garden-spots of the world into a bear-walk. These 
high corollaries I would deduce from our experience 
of the wilderness, and go to the trouble of showing 
them convincingly, with reasons manifold, were it 
not, that just at this time there is a practical teach- 
ing of them everywhere over the land, that is making 
the lesson manifest to the dullest mind — and which 
practical teaching, if not arrested, will soon convert 
the garden of our American civilization into such a 
bear-walk as the world has not yet seen. 

Be these things, however, as they may — let the 
republic tremble to its foundations, if it must — let 
political and social anarchy take it, if it has to be 
B0-'th^^e are those about who will right it, and 



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THE LODGB IN THE WILDKENE8S. 127 

rear its firm head higher, and higher yet, to the 
skies. In the meantime, when the hurly-burly 
comes, we of this expedition have made up our 
mind§ to seize upon the Canaan; and with the 
knowledge we have acquired of its fastnesses — 
such as the l«,urel : — its gorges, narrow defiles, 
rocky precipices, and torrent passes — all its mili- 
tary availabilities — it will go hard with us if we 
don't hold it against all the other freebooters of the 
United States — let their name be legion I 

However, upon this point we must keep our 
counsel, or we might be frustrated in our enterprise 
by the rapine of the times. A wise mom is his own 
lantern. 

In the meantime, the supper was gone — juggled, 
or jugged away; and the animals to all appear- 
ances appeased. We now gathered into the inner 
penetralia of our hold ; and stowed ourselves away 
in every violation of the rules of ceremony known 
to any of the nations of Christendom, or of the 
heathen — smoking cigars or pipes — telling stories, 
and singing songs, of love, war, romance, the chase, 
intermixed with our national anthems, and local 
ballads, pathetic or humorous, now in the harmony 
of Germany or of Italy, of France or old romantic 
Spain, and now to the strains of some low, dulcet, 
African refrain. , Thus were passed the first watches 
of the night, until, at length, tired nature yielded to 
the omnipotence of sleep ; and, hushed by the night 



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128 



THE BLAOKWATER CHRONICLE. 



winds murmuring among the immemorial trees, 
while the blazing pile at our feet illumined the 
forest around and above us with its silver and 




golden flame, imparting a magic sheen to the leaves 
and branches of the woods, until it all seemed the 
lighted tracery of some vast Gothic minster of the 



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THE LODGB IN THE WILDEBNE8B. 129 

wild ; and with nothing above ns but the vault of 
heaven, studded with its glittering stars (which we 
couldn't see) — and nothing beneath us but the 
spicy smelling hemlock — and nothing over us but 
a blanket — we fell asleep, as sweetly and confi- 
dingly here in the wild, as children beneath the 
roof-tree of some guardian home. 

And so, tired reader, good night! May your 
sleep be ever as safe in the city, and your dreams 
never worse than those that haunted the hemlock 
of our lost expedition. 

6* 



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130 THE BLACKWATEB OHBONICLB. 



CHAPTER X. 

THE BLAOKWATER FOUND A GREAT NUMBER OF TROUT 

TAKEN MR. BUTCUT FRIES SOME FISH. 

About daybreak, when our sleep was at the high- 
est, and the atmosphere the most chilly — the 
twilight just emerging from the night — Doctor 
Adolphus Blandy awoke from his dreams. Sleep- 
ing next to Mr. Butcut — and that gentleman, taking 
good care of himself even in his sleep, having con- 
trived to appropriate to himself, during the night, 
the blanket that warmed the shoulders of Adolphus 
— the doctor woke up at this hour yawning and 
chilled.. Contemplating for a while, the comforta- 
ble party around him, and particularly contempla- 
ting the exc^dingly comfortable Butcut, just at 
this time emitting the longest drawn and most swel- 
ling notes of his horn ; and also reflecting, some- 
what bitterly may be, that all this was doubly 
enjoyed by But, at the expense of his own shiver- 
ing discomfort — himself sacrificed to this too com- 
plete bodily satisfaction of the partner of his sleep 
— and accustomed, no doubt, himself to his own 

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THE BLACKWATEB FOUND. 131 

proper share of nocturnal indulgence : thus contem- 
plating the repose around him, the devil of that 
dog-in-the-manger quality of our nature, that will 
sometimes get uppermost in the breasts of the best 
of men, arose and took possession of his soul. 

^'Aha, Mr. But!" said Galen to himself, "you 
look mighty comfortable, indeed, with every bit of 
my blanket wrapped about you — tucked in, too! 
No wonder I couldn't pull it over me. I'll fix you, 
Mr. Snug, for this, I think. If I'm shivering here, 
you sha'n't sleep so comfortably there, and in my 
blanket, too — confound you !" 

So he deliberately arose, and set fire to the hem- 
lock upon which we were sleeping, starting the 
flame at a point nearest to the object of his particu- 
lar malice. Having got his blaze under way, he 
next picked up a hatchet, and finding a young fir- 
tree so placed that when cut down it would fall 
with all its branches directly upon the sleepers, he 
went to work to fell it, a great deal of especial de- 
light beaming all the while from his eyes. 

The hemlock being of the Pinus species, fire 
takes hold of it rapidly, and soon the camp was in 
a blaze. The flames spreading in close proximity 
around Peter, crackling upon his ear, and flaring 
in his eye, he awoke in great terror, and aroused the 
camp with his outcries. Just at this critical mo 
ment, down came the doctor's young fir-tree, th.it 
he had been all the while industriously hacking at, 



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132 THE BLAOKWATEB OHBONIGLE. 

down right over the camp, with all its sweeping 
branches, trapping the party. Of course, there was 
no little commotion among us. The fire was in- 
stantly put out, however, by a sort of instinct of 
preservation common to mankind; and not yet 
fairly awake, and a general impression prevailing 
in the confusion that we were attacked by the wild 
animals, we seized upon the rifles, hatchets, knives, 
frying-pan, and but-en48 of the burned wood-pile, 
to sell our lives as dearly as possible. Missing 
Blandy, however, who had concealed himself be- 
hind a tree, the reality of the case began to break 
upon us; and fairly now awake, we commented 
variously upon the caricature alacrity that had been 
exhibited by the expedition in defending itself from 
the supposed assault of the beasts of the wilderness 
— and took advantage of the occasion to get break- 
fast, and make an early start for the day. 

The breakfast was a repetition of the last night's 
supper, which being said — it is enough. Present- 
ly the sun reddened the eastern sky, and the hunt- 
ers getting the direction they proposed to try their 
fortune in, we set off through the yet dank and 
dewy forest. Our way was broken and rugged, 
up and down, through ravines that were deep 
chasms, and over great fallen trees covered with 
moss and wet as a sponge. Deer we saw frequent- 
ly browsing about, and out here where perhaps they 
had never seen a human being before, they would 



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THE BLAOKWATEB FOUND. 133 

lift up their heads and for a while gaze at ns as if 
in wonder at what it all meant. Once or twice it 
was proposed to shoot one of them, but this was 
cried down as an act of wantonness, since we were 
already burdened with as much as we could carry ; 
and, uncertain as to our being at all in the right di- 
rection, we were somewhat anxious and desirous to 
hasten on our way, while yet fresh from the night's 
rest. 

There was one part of the wilderness which we 
traversed this morning, where we came frequently 
upon the traces of bear. Sometimes we would 
come upon the trunk of a dead tree, some hundred 
feet long, and five or six feet in diameter, scattered 
and raked about in all directions by the bears to 
get at the worms to eat. Sometimes we would 
find a cluster of trees, with the bark worn smooth, 
which the hunters told us was a certain indication 
that a family of these animals had been here raised, 
and were no doubt now in some hollow tree or fast- 
ness not far off. 

Thus we walked along for several hours, proba- 
bly at no greater rate than a mile an hour, and in 
some evident disheartenment — for we were not at 
all so light of spirit as we might have been, and 
would, had we felt more certain of our course. 
Every now and then when we stopped to rest, the 
conversation would take a debating turn, the sub- 
ject discussed being generally the points of the 



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134 THS BLAOKWATEB OHBONIOLE. 

compass; one asserting that here was the north, 
and another that it was in the very opposite direc- 
tion. Peter's mind was always opposed to the 
hunters' ; if they pointed this way for north, he 
was sure to point in the opposite, and maintain his 
point of the compass with much vehement speech ; 
for he was by this time fully assured that the hunt- 
ers had no knowledge of the country — in fact 
knew nothing of wood-craft at all. These debates 
were generally wound up by some very direct re- 
mark of Triptolemus's, proclaiming it as his opinion, 
that the hunters didn't know any more than he did, 
where we were — when some one of the more dis- 
creet members of the party would have to intimate 
to Powell and Conway, that Trip didn't mean as 
much as he said, for fear they might possibly lose 
their good temper, and leave the whole expedition 
in the lurch, by deserting us upon the first favorable 
opportunity : in which event it is altogether likely 
we would have remained out in the Canaan long 
enough to have resolved ourselves into our original 
wild elements, or to have become a pile of bones. 
But Powell and Conway were good-tempered men, 
and set down to the proper account all our insinu- 
ations against their knowledge; and generally 
retired to a little distance, and held some rational 
parley with each other upon the matter in doubt. 
At length we scrambled up a desperate hill, and 
seating ourselves down to rest on its brow, we 



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THE BLACKWATEB FOUND. 135 

heard Peter's voice back in the bushes, crying out 
that he couldn't stand it any longer. Presently he 
came in, out of breath, dragging himself along; 
and sitting down on a log with an air of dogged 
resolution, great misery in his countenance, he 
swore he would go no further. 

" Gentlemen, there must be an end put to this. 
I can't stand it. It's all intolerable — terrific 1" 

"Let him stay here, then," said the Signor. 
"We'll go on, and find the falls. We can then 
send one of the men back for him." 

The enterprise was growing desperate, so we 
moved along, determined to find water at all haz- 
ards, if we fell in our tracks. As we took up the 
march again, each man gave Peter a parting volley. 

"You had" better struggle on. But, as long as 
you can. If you should be left here, you vidll 
never find the way in yourself." 

" And bear it in mind, an expedition fitted out 
for your recovery might not be more fortunate than 
those to the North Pole." 

"And, But, there is a possibility that govern- 
ment mightn't think you worth discovering." 

" Mr. Grinnell couldn't be calculated on for you, 
Peter." 

" And if ever you are found, you might be a pile 
of bones — remember the lost man !" said Trip. 

"Farewell, Peter! I'm sorry to leave you, old 
fellow." 



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136 THE BLACKWATER CHBONIOLE. 

"Go to ," said Peter, "with your blasted 

nonsense. Since you wont stop and encamp, I'll 
show yon I can walk with any of you." 

And Peter got up and followed after, not liking 
the idea of remaining by himself in the forest ; and 
thinking rightly it would be rather hazardous to be 
left behind by the party. 

About an hour after this we were walking along 
the broad top of a ridge, when one of the hunters 
stopped, and thought he heard something like the 
distant sound of water. Reanimated by the thought 
we pricked up our ears, and went on in better heart. 
But Botecote, who was really suffering a good deal, 
now came to a dead halt, and refused to move. No 
persuasion this time, nor any banter — no argument 
addressed to his hopes, nor any intimidation of any 
sort, that the inventive genius of the expedition 
could suggest — was of the least avail. The case 
this time was desperate ; and we held a council of 
war over him, the chief question being what was to 
be done with his body. He was too. big to carry— 
which was the suggestion of Triptolemus — so, of 
course, that thought was dismissed ; and, besides, 
we had no idea of doing it : for we had still a lurk- 
ing belief that he was playing 'possum a little, in 
order that he might accomplish an encampment. 
Fortunately, however, and saving us from the des- 
perate measure of leaving him here in the forest, 
with a chance that we should not be able to fiiid 



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THB BLA.OS:WATEB FOUND. 187 

him again, old Conway had explored the side of the 
mountain, and just now returned, saying that he 
had come to a wide belt of laurel, and that it was 
his opinion the Blackwater ran through it. 

^^I knew it," said Peter. '^It's just as I said, 
gentlemen. We^ve been enduring all this horrible 
walking all the morning, when, by going more to 
the left, we might have been in the Blackwater long 
ago. Walked to death for nothing !" 

And now it was suggested that the laurel should 
be explored, the fact of the water ascertained, and 
Peter put into it, to make his way to .the falls down 
liie middle of the stream. This proposition was as* 
sented to, as the best the case admitted of. Ac- 
cordingly, going down to the edge of the laurel, 
and seeing Peter safely deposited in the brake — 
with some appropriate encouragement of him as he 
fought his way through — and hearing presently his 
somewhat cheerful shout, announcing his safe arri- 
val in the stream — we made our way back again 
to the top of the mountain — Powell being certain 
now that we were on the Blackwater, and that in 
the course of a mile or so we would come upon some 
of its falls. Indeed, we were now convinced that 
we heard the sound of them in the distance. 

We pursued our march along the cone of the 
ridge we were on for something better than a mile, 
when, coming to a halt, we distinctly heard a water- 
fall below us. There was no doubt about it now : 



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138 THE bla.ge:w^atbb ohboniolb. 

and we descended the mountain- side with a shout. 
We met the laurel about half-way down the mount- 
ain — and breaking into it, after the necessary fight- 
ing, we filed down, one by one, along a great fir- 
tree that had, happily for us, fallen there some ten 
or twenty years before, and stepped out into the 
Black water, on a broad surface of rock — the very 
top itself of the falls we were seeking. In a few 
minutes we fixed up our fishing-lines, and, dotted 
along the edge of the fall which was about ten feet 
high, middle of the day as it was when the fish 
generally cease to bite, we took from the pool be- 
low some sixty trout, as fast as we could bait our 
hooks for them. Satisfied with this taste of the 
stream, and assured of our hopes of trout innumera- 
ble, we descended the falls, and looked about for a 
suitable spot to construct a camp, and prepare our 
dinner — for which, by this time, we were in no 
little need, having eaten nothing since the early 
twilight. 

In the meantime, Mr. Butcut and Conway — fish- 
ing down the middle of the stream, and having 
caught some thirty or forty more trout as they came 
along — arrived at the falls, and thus the party were 
once more together — boastful over all our toil and 
suffering, and in high and happy spirits at the suc- 
cessful achievement of the enterprise out. 

In the course of an hour a camp was constructed 
by the banks of the stream, about a hundred yards 



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THB BLAOKWATKB FOUND. 139 

below the falls. A great blazing fire, such as we 
had the night before, was soon under way ; and la- 
zily stretched about on the hemlock, or out upon 
the large, moss-covered rocks that bordered the 
stream — now frying and eating a pan of trout at 
returning intervals, as a not quite sated appetite 
prompted, or taking a little sleep, as nature inclined 
— we passed the hours until about four o'clock, 
when it was deemed advisable to sally forth for the 
purpose of laying in provision for our supper and 
the next morning's breakfast. 

Leaving some of the party to perfect the works 
at the camp, and make everything as comfortable 
as possible for the night, we divided the rest into 
two bands, and set out — one up the stream, the 
other down — to make a somewhat extensive foray 
upon the trout. 

We will not give a minute account of the eve- 
ning's fishing. We will state generally that the in- 
road was very successful ; that we took the trout as 
fast as we could bait for them ; that in a walk of 
about a mile up the stream, and two miles down, 
and back, we at length arrived in camp with about 
as many fish as we coul^ well carry — and were 
back all of us about an hour before dark, and all 
rather indifferent about taking any more trout that 
evening. 

Immediately in front of the camp, and about a 
fitep out in the stream, is a large rock, in shape a 



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140 THS BLAOKWATEB OHBONIOLE. 

parallelogram, of some five feet by ten, rising above 
the water about three feet, and of almost an entirely 
flat surface, except where at one end it is scooped 
into a slight hollow, that will hold some two or three 
buckets of water. This rock we have appropriated 
as our kitchen ; and upon it we have counted out 
some five hundred trout, varying in size from six 
to ten inches — some of them, the black trout, with 
deep red spots — and some salmon-colored, with 
lighter red spots — all of them very beautiful, though 
not, of course, of the largest size of the fish ; for we 
have yet to go down below the great falls of the 
Blackwater to get at them. 

All hands are now called into requisition to clean 
all these fish ; and it is not long before the whole 
five hundred are prepared for the pan, and safely 
put away in the hollow basin at the other end of the 
kitchen, with a plenty of good fresh water around 
them. 

By the side of this rock, called the kitchen, a lit- 
tle farther out in the stream — an easy step taking 
you from the top of the kitchen-rock to it — is an- 
other large sandstone rock, which is our parlor. 
This last is about ten feet by twelve, and about 
three feet also above the water, and perfectly flat and 
smooth on its surface. Describing thus our differ- 
ent apartments — all, like the statues of the heathen 
goddesses in the ^' Groves of Blarney," standing out 
"naked in the open air" — perhaps it would afford 



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THE BLAOKWATER FOUND. 141 

the reader some satisfaction to know our manner 
of using them. It is very simple ; as thus : — 

You will have the goodness to observe the move- 
ments of Mr. Butcut at this moment. This gentle- 
man has a turn for good living, and consequently 
he is something of an amateur cook. Indeed, it is 
his pleasure so to indulge his genius this way, that 
after he has himself eaten as much as he wants for 
the time being, he takes great delight in exercising 
his talents for the gratification of others. He is 
now about to cook a mess for the Prior, who, com- 
ing in the last from fishing, has now made himself 
ready to enjoy his supper, having a very fine rage 
upon him at present, and a particularly good capa- 
city at all times to go upon. Butcut takes up the 
frying pan, and repairs with it to the kitchen. Pla- 
cing it down by the fish, he selects from the clean 
and beautiful hundreds in the basin about eight fine 
fish — half of them black, half of them salmon-col- 
ored, all o¥ them of the largest and fattest — these 
being just as many as the bottom of the frying-pan 
will properly hold. He takes them carefully, even 
daintily, by the tail, between his fore-finger and 
thumb, and places them- accurately in the pan in 
alternate heads and tails. A little salt and a little 
black pepper are carefully sprinkled over them. He 
next cuts a few thin slices of middling of bacon and 
places them about in the pan. He is now ready for 
the fire. So he goes to the great blazing pile, and 



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142 



THE BLACKWATEB OHBONIOLB. 



raking out from underneath it, away from any 
smoke, a quantity of the livest embers, he sets the 
frying-pan evenly on these, and soon has the whole 
delicate mess frying away in the most delightftil 
manner — the fat of the middling crackling and his- 
sing a most delicious music to his ear — also to the 
ear of the expectant Master. The accomplished 
Peter takes great care that the fish shall not bum 
in the least, so he removes the pan from the hot 
embers every once in a while. Cooked sufficiently 
now, as he supposes, on the one side, he proceeds to 
the operation of turning them. This he does after the 







manner of tossing a pancake. He spreads a white 
napkin upon the rock hard by, and giving the fry- 



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THE BLAOKWATBB FOUITD. 148 

ing-pan a toss of a very artful character, up go the 
trout in the air, turning over and coming down into 
the pan again precisely as the arch-cook desires it : 
and all this is done without spilling even so much as 
a drop of grease on the napkin. He now goes to the 
fire again, and performs some more hocus-pocus, that 
is all Hebrew-Greek to the ignorant, until the mess 
is of a delicate brown hue — when he deems the 
operation complete, and hands the frying-pan to 
the Master with an air which seems to say, '^ A dish 
fit to set before a king I" 

The sharp-set Prior, in the meantime, has pre- 
pared himself with a plate — of the real stone- ware 
— that is, a flat, thin stone, of some twelve inches' 
diameter, which he has selected from the bed of the 
stream for his purpose ; and emptying the trout up- 
on his plate, with a chunk of bread on one end of it 
and his big knife on the other, he hands the frying- 
pan to the next gentleman eagerly waiting for it, 
and proceeds from the fireplace to the kitchen, and 
jfrom the kitchen to the parlor, where he sets him- 
self down, with his legs crossed under him after the 
fashion of the Grand Mufti, and, with his plate be- 
fore him, dips in, and makes away with the spoils 
of the Blackwater, in what in elegant life would be 
considered a very short space of time, but which 
excites no comment at all out here — ^^it being com- 
mon to all the men we have seen feed in the country. 

The trout is such light food, that eight of them. 



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144 THE BLAOKWATBB CHSOKIGLE. 

some ten inches long, will not make a supper for a 
hearty man, leading this wilderness life ; and ac- 
cordingly the Master asks for another platefuL Bat 
Mr. Butcnt is by this time cooking another little 
mess for himself, his appetite getting up again on 
him : so the former gentleman has to wait for his 
turn at the frying-pan, and try his hand for himself. 
But enough. This will suflSce to show the habits 
of our indoor life out here on the Black water — and 
give also some very just idea of the different apart- 
ments of our dwelling, and of our felicitous manner 
of using them. 



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THE BLAOKWATBB VILLA. 146 



OHAPTEE XI. 

THE BLAOKWATBB VILLA. 

OuB Blackwater villa is placed in the most pic- 
turesque position imaginable — almost immediately 
upon the banks of the most lovely of all amber 
streams. It is protected on one side by masses of 
gray sandstone rock, dashed with spots of a darker 
and lighter hue of gray, and occasionally a tinge of 
red — these rocks coated over in places with moss 
of various mingled colors — gray, blue, green, yel- 
low, and purple, and soft and glossy as the richest 
velvet. A noble overshadowing fir-tree rises up 
from one comer of the villa, some hundred and 
fifty feet, to the skies. The laurel grows thick and 
matted back of it, in impenetrable masses ; and the 
glory of its flower, now just swelling into bloom, 
gives an air of elegance — even of splendor, to the 
embowered dwelling. In front, the pure cool stream 
leaps over the falls like a river of calf s-foot jelly 
with a spray of whipped syllabub on top of it, and 
tumbles wildly down through its rocky and ob- 
structed bed, filling your imagination with the 
7 

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146 THE BUIOKWATEB OHKONIOLE. 

poetry of unpolluted mountain waters — running 
pure to your ideal, as the kingdom of heaven. 

The valley of the Blackwater is not more than a 
hundred yards wide, here where we have made our 
home ; and embowered on all sides, by mountains 
of noble forms and various, it wears an air of entire 
seclusion from the world we have deserted. No 
intruding footsteps of man, we instinctively feel, 
will here disturb our chosen, perfect solitude. All 
customs, manners, modes of life, that we have here- 
tofore known, are felt to be the remembrance of an 
almost forgotten .dreani. The earth is entirely new 
to our senses; and it is all our own — an entire and 
absolutely perfect fee-simple estate of inheritance 
in land and water, the deed recorded in the most 
secret recesses of our own breasts. Therefore we 
feel an unbounded liberty of thought, speech, and 
action, and this is manifest in all we say and do ; 
and hence the reader will easily understand Jiow 
it is, that there is such entire freedom of remark 
among us, one to another ; how it is that we lay 
about on the hemlock, now that night has set in ^ 
upon us, in such eyeless luxuriance of attitudei; 
how that the Prior is now stretched out with his feet 
to the fire, and* one of the hunters squatted down 
confidingly between them ; how the Signor goes on 
all fours over our bodies, in getting to a snug place 
in a corner of the camp, whither his fancy now 
urges him ; how that Mr. Butcut is flat upon his 



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THE BLACKWATEB VILLA. 147 

back in the middle of the Boftest hemlock, his face 
direct to the heavens, and his body spread out as 
nsnal in his favorite position of a supple-jack distort- 
ed to the utmost; how Triptolemus's lame leg is 
thrown over one of old Conway's shoulders, with a 
view to the convenient drying of a wet stocking 
before the fire ; how it is that Adolphus, with a 
blanket sweeping his shoulders, half sits, half re- 
clines in among the* roots of the great fir-tree, 
wishing he could smoke a mild Havana like the 
rest of us — but compensating his soul for his ina- 
bility, by indulging in visions of trout swimming 
about in all beautiful imaginary waters — the day- 
dream haunting the lights and shadows of his face^ 
like an angel of Paradise. 

Lying about thus in all unrestrained felicity, we 
told stories, and discoursed much learning of the 
fisherman and the hunter, ancient and modem; 
every now and then interweaving some very enter- 
taining and free — sometimes very slashing com- 
ment upon one another ; all of which we regret it 
is out of the question for us to impart to the reader, 
because of its too great freedom, even for this out- 
spoken age. Herein, therefore, that we may not 
fell below the dignity of history — having pitched 
our chronicle up to the very highest standard — we 
must exercise a becoming self-denial, hard as it is 
to refrain. 

The moon has now risen, and although a few 



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148 THB BLACKWATEB CHBONICLE. 

light fleecy clouds are gathering about here and 
there above U8, yet the goddess of the night shines 
down as silvery soft upon the Canaan, as she did 
of old upon the garden of Verona, where Lorenzo 
and Jessica vied with each other in chanting her 
worship In such beautiful strains. And, oh I most 
beautiful reader — now absorbing this inspired 
chapter, like Geraldine, when in her night-robes 
loose, 6h» lay reclined on couch of Ind, and poured 
over Surrey's raptured line — how soothingly soft 
its influence upon us here in the wild, you — you 
can never altogether know — not even from this 
rapt page ! — ^how all at once, as if at another Pros- 
pero's wand, our mood was changed from that of 
wanton, reckless mirth, and a gentle dreamy in- 
spiration, all poetry and romance (all the finer for 
our satisfaction in the regard of the trout — heav- 
enly fish !) — came with the balmy south wind, and 
took possession of our souls! You — even you, 
blissful girl, upon whom the favoring gods have 
bestowed the gift of genius, as well as of beauty — 
you, with your "finely-fibred frame," like Geor- 
giana's, duchess of Devonshire, whom Coleridge 
has so finely commemorated in his beautiful lines 
addressed to that lady— -even you can not ever 
know this, unless, perchance, you would go with 
me, and live a sylvan huntress -by my side in the 
Canaan, as did Kuth with her roving lover in the 
wilds of Georgia ! But Gt)d temper the wind to you, 



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f" ^^j-r^ y>utii^y^ 



THB BIACKWATEB VILLA. 151 

our vieioned romance, we arose and looked out upon 
the night. Clouds were gathering like mustering 
bands everywhere in the heavens, and fast concen- 
trating their forces. The stars disappeared by 
squadrons from the just now blue and shining vault 
of heaven ; and the fair goddess of the night, queen 
of the glittering realm — pale Dian, veiled her mild 
glories altogether from our eyes. The southwest — 
harbinger of summer storms, is a swift and impetu- 
ous power in the air, and wonderfully does he bestir 
himself sometimes. So it was with him to-night ; 
for he sprang up suddenly upon us, without any 
warning, and vented himself, for some cause or 
other to us unknown, in outbursts of gusty bluster 
and passion, that made us think of a whole deluge 
of waters descending upon our devoted camp, 
drowning out our fires and drenching our very 
beds. But for the present there was more of bra- 
vado than performance in his high mightiness ; and 
the storm blast blew by. Still darkness was every- 
where over the face of the earth, and the forest 
sent forth a low wail, and the waters murmured a 
sullen and monotonous song — falling upon the ear 
more like a heavy sea breaking lazily upon a flat 
shore, than the light, airy, wild, sportive, notes of 
the playful, impetuous, young streams of the moun- 
tains. 

Each man now wrapped himself around more 
closely in his blanket. No word was spoken, but 



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152 THB BLiLOKWATEB OHBONIOLE. 

filled with the gloom of the night, we thought wiet- 
fuUy of our pleasant homes — dry and snijg, and of 
household secnrity and comfort — books, lights, 
music, fruits, flowers, jocund children — that is 
those who had them — the sly flirtation by the light 
of the chandelier — 

^ And mama, too, blind to disoover 
JThe smaU white hand in mine** — 

— all that makes civilization tolerable; and we out 
here, in the wilds of the Oanaan, fai* away from the 
knowledge of men — to say nothing of women — 
perhaps lost — and to all reasonable certainty a night 
of wind and rain before us — bears, panthers, wolves, 
owls, around us, and may be not so far oflF as we 
might desire! The melancholy soughing of the 
pines, too, above all the voices of the Oanaan, had 
entered into our hearts, and awakened our supereti- 
tion, and no diversion of thought could dispossess 
our souls of its influence. The Master, indeed, 
seemed rather to encourage it ; for presently from 
out a dark corner, where half in the glimmer of the 
fire and half in the gloom of the hemlock he lay 
propped away in a very Ossianly state of mind, in 
a low, wild voice, all in harmony with the sough- 
ing sound of the firs and the sullen murmur of Ae 
waters, he broke in upon the gloom of the camp, 
crooning the beautiful ballad of Eossmore. It was 
thus the mournful descant fell upon our ears — now 



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THE BLAOKWATES VILLA. 158 

low as the lowest moan of the pines — now rising, 
now swelling, as the winds blew a louder wail : — 

R088M0RE. 

" The day was declining; 

The dark night drew near; 
The old lord grew sadder. 

And paler with fear. 
' Come hither, my daughter, 

Come nearer — oh, near I — 
It's the wind or the water 

That sighs in mj ear I' 

"Not the wind nor the water 

Now stirred the night air. 
But a warning far sadder — 

The banshee was there I 
Now rising, now swelling, 

On the night wind it bore 
One cadence — still telling; 

'I want thee, Rossmore !' 

"And then fast came his breath, 

And more fixed grew his eye : 
And the shadow of death 

Told his hour was nigh 1 
Ere the dawn of that morning 

The struggle was o'er. 
For when thrice came the warning--^ 

A corpse was Rossmore I'' 

" Hush your horrible croaking I" said Ailolphus, 
when the Master's voice had come to a stand-still. 
" Shut up, or I'll leave the room I Isn't it all mis- 
erable enough already, but you must be keeping us 
from going to sleep with ballads about dying men, 
and such unearthly things?" 

" Let's put him out !" exclaimed Peter. 

7* 



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164 THX BLAOKWATES OHBOmOLE. 

" Turn him ont into the wilderness, and let him 
run with Ishmael and the other beasts!'' 

" Pitch him into the Blackwater 1" 

" And if there are any big falls below, let him go 
down them 1" 

" Kill him 1 — cnrse him — kill him 1" 

" I have heard about such things, Mr. Philips,'' 
said Powell — " like that about Rossmore. Do you 
believe in them ?" 

« Oh, certainly, Powell." 

" I once saw a spirit," said old Conway. 

" "With a long tail on him ?" asked Peter. 

" "Well, I can't say but it had," continued the old 
man with eagerness. "Once — it was on a dark, 
black — the blackest sort of a night — about the end 
of one November — I was a- walking alone in the 
woods — and I came close upon a — " 

"Don't tell it — it was nothing but a bear or a 
wolf I" exclaimed Butcut. " I wish I was at home. 
What a fool I was for coming herel" — and Peter 
tried again to sleep. 

The sobbing and sighing wind still kept up its sad 
lament throughout the v&le ; and Andante to its ac- 
companiment again tuned his voice, and half-spoke, 
half-sung the following strange old Scotch ballad : — 

THE TWA CORBIES. 

•There were twa corbies sat on a tree, 
Ijarge and black as black might be ; 
And one the other 'gan say, 
^ Where shall we go and dine to-daj 9 



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THB BLAOKWATBB VILLA. 165 

Shall we dine by the -wSd Mlt AM I 

Shall we go dine 'neath the greenwood-tree f 

'* ' Ab I eat on the deep sea-sand, 
I saw a fair ship nigh at land : 
I waved mj wings, I bent my beak — 
The ship sank, and I heard a shriek ! 
There they lie, one^ two, and three — 
I shall dine by the wild salt sea.' 

" *Come, I will show you a sweeter sight— 
A lonesome glen and a new-slain knight : 
ffis blood yet on the grass is hot, 
His sword half-drawn, his shafts UDshot^ 
And no one kens that he lies there, 
But his hawk, his hound, and his lady-fair t 

** 'His hound is to the hunting gane. 
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame. 
His lady's away with another mate, 
So we shall make our dinner sweet; 
Our dinner^s sure, our feasting free — 
Come and dine by the greenwood*tree. 

*''Ye shall sit on his white hause-bane, 
I will pick out his bonny blue e'en ; 
Yell take a tress of his yellow hair. 
To theak your nest when it grows bare ; 
Hie gowden down on his young chin 
Will do to sewe my young ones in. 

'"Oh, oauld and bare will his bed be, 
When winter storms sing in the tree I 
At his head a turf, at his feet a stone — 
He will sleep, nor hear the maiden's moan : 
O'er his white bones the birds shall fly. 
The wild deer bound, and foxes cry !* " 

"This thing is getting intolerable!" exclaimed 
Galen. 
^^ It must be put an end to !" said But. 



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166 THE BLAOKWATEB OHBONIOLK. 

" Perhaps," observed Guy, " you might prefer to 
hear the ballad of ^ Harold the Grim.' That's a bal- 
lad, now, for such a night as this I I think I could 
pitch it to the * Infernal Waltz' in *Kobert the 
Devil.' Touch us the strain, Signor." 

Here the Signor let himself loose upon the waltz, 
and went on into the opera in general, joined at 
length by Mr. Butcut and our whole orchestra — 
Powell and Conway smoking their pipes all the 
while in utter amazement at the effect produced. 
This led to the performance of divers other pieces 
from the other operas, in executing which, " Harold 
the Grim," and the wail of the forest, and the sad 
murmur of the Blackwater, were all forgotten for 
the time. 

This spirited defiance of our condition did not 
last. Xt was but a temporary rising up ; and, tired 
out, we laid ourselves down upop the hemlock, and 
again gave way to the Ossianly influences of the 
forest. The owls by this time began to hoot about 
in alternate question and answer. " Whoo-whoo- 
whoo-whoo^re you?" said one, and another an- 
swered with a hollow, short laugh — "Whoo-oo- 
00-00 ! — whoo-oo-oo-oo I" Certain now that the 
owls were beginning to come about us — attracted, 
no doubt, by the cooking of the camp — we expected, 
the next thing, to hear of the approach of the bears 
and panthers in our neighborhood. The smell of 
the bacon and grease of our kitchen would undoubt- 



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• THE BLACKWATEB VILLA. 157 

edly bring these gentlemen aronnd us sometiine in 
the night ; it might be, indeed, that onr own meat 
would draw them : and in the event of its turning 
out a night of rain, why then our fire might be 
drenched out, and there would be nothing to keep 
the animals from coming in upon us. 

In the meantime, however, these thoughts natu- 
rally arising in the mind, Triptolemus lifted up his 
voice, and of his own accord — in a somewhat dis- 
cordant tone, in keeping with the rude character of 
the rhythm— chanted the ditty of 

BANGUM AND THE WILD-BOAR. 

" There is a wild-boar in the wood, 

Eillum-coo, Con! 
There is a wild-boar in the wood. 
He'll eat your meat and drink your blood — 

Cut him down ! 

Cut him down I 

" Bangum vowed that he would ride, 

Killum-coo, Con! 
Bangum vowed that he would ride, 
With Bword and pistol by his side, 

Cut him down ! 

Cut him down ! 

**He tracked the wild-boar to his den, 
Killum-coo, Con! 
He tracked the wild-boar to his den, 
And there he saw the bones of ten thousand men, 
Cut him down 1 
Cut him down ! 

" They fought tiiree hours by the day, 
Ejllum-eoo, Con I 



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158 THE BLAQKWATB^ OHBONIOLE. 

Tbej fought three hours by the day, 
Till at last the wild-boar — he ran away. 

Cat him down I 

Cut him down 1** 

Thifl delightftil ballad of " Bangnm aftd the Boar" 
Trip sang all to himself, for by this time we were 
about getting to sleep. Whether this version is a 
correct one, Heaven only knows ! But we give it 
here as Trip sang it, and the probability therefore 
is that it is a good deal mixed up. Be this as it 
may, it is a very remarkable lyric, and worthy of 
being preserved in this chronicle as a specimen of 
our earlier and ruder song. 

About this time some drops of rain fell down 
heavily upon the leaves of the forest — premonitory 
of what was in store for us ; and in five minutes 
more, we, our camp, and everything around, were 
drenched. As it seemed to be a rather settled, 
steady pouring down of the clouds, without any 
wind or noise of any sort about it — and as there 
was no help for it, the hunters secured the fire as 
well as they could (covering it over partially with 
some pieces of hemlock-bark) ; when, rooting our- 
selves about among each other like a litter of pigs 
in a barnyard, we soon fell asleep, in defiance of 
the pitiless elements. 



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THE FALLS OF THI BLAOKWATBB. 169 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE FAIXS OF THE BLAOKWATEB. 

Undistubbed by any of the wild beasts, we slept 
through the rain until broad daylight, when we 
crawled out of our litter, and started the nearly- 
extinguished fire. The rain had ceased to fall some- 
time in the night ; but the mist covered the mount- 
ains and enveloped the river ; the forest was every- 
where dripj^ng wet, and for a while it was rather 
cheerless as we sat drooping before the slow fire. 
Soon, however, the flames took hold of the wood, 
and, as the blaze spread, our spirits revived. 

The worst possible thing for a man to do, under 
any circumstances, is to sit down and droop : the 
very best, all the philosophers agree, is to go to 
work. So we picked up the hatchets and axe, and 
soon had a wagon-load of young hemlocks and firs 
upon the fire, making a flame that dried the atmo- 
sphere all around our villa. In doing this, it was 
discovered that we were as supple of joint and 
limb as if we had slept in moonshine ; and when 
Triptolemus looked for his cold (which he had 
brought with him into the country), and couldn't 



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160 THE BLAGKWATBB OHEONICLE. 

find it— and Mr. Butcut felt himself lighter and 
freer iu body than he had done since he started — 
it would have puzzled any one, coming fresh among 
OBj to believe that we had slept out all night in the 
open air, in a drenching rain. 

After breakfast, however, going beyond the en- 
campment, and seeing everything still wet and un- 
comfortable, the hearts of some of the party began 
to fail them — and it was proposed that we should 
strike our camp for home. 

'= Wliat! and not explore the stream, after com- 
ing out all the way here for the purpose! — No — 
not so,^^ said the artist, who wished to sketch the 
faUs. 

" Not so," repeated the Master, wh6 wished to 
take some of the larger trout of the Blackwater. 

" And you mean, then, to keep us out here another 
night in the rain !" exclaimed Peter. " I won't sub- 
mit to it 1" 

" I should rather think we have had enough of 
itj" eaid Galen — the idea of another night of rain 
deeti oying his romance a little. 

" What do you say. Trip ? Are you satisfied ?" 

" Ugh — uh 1" replied Trip ; but whether he meant 
yes or no, was only to be got at from his counte- 
nance — which was rather down. 

" It will read badly in our annals, gentlemen," 
observed the Master, " to go back without explo- 
riug the falls. Besides, I want to get in among the 



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THE FALLS OF THE BLAOKWAT^. 161 

large fish. We have caught nothing to call a trout 
yet!" 

" We have seen all the falls we are going to see," 
said Peter. 

" What's your opinion as to that, Powell ?" 

" There are certainly larger falls, gentlemen, some- 
where down below us. These couldn't make all the 
roar we have h^ard out here — could they, Cona- 
way?" 

" That's onpossible," replied Conway. 

" Gentlemen, I am really suflfering very much out 
here — this climate don't agree with mel" said Pe- 
ter, pathetically. 
. " You look ill, But 1" 

Peter smiled faintly at this. It was the first trace 
of anything of the kind that had illumined his coun- 
tenance since day dawned. 

The reader will perceive, from the above conver- 
sation — which will serve as a sample of a very con- 
siderable discussion, involving the breaking up of 
the expedition at this point — that some of us had 
enough of the wilderness. Although we were all 
perfectly unharmed by the exposure of the last 
night, yet the recollection of it affected the mind 
unpleasantly, and suggested visions of the comfort 
of Towers's hostel, which made against any very 
-strong wish to remain out another night — such 
night in our Blackwater villa. But the secret of 
this desire to leave was attributable to the fact Hx^t 



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162 THB BLAOKWATKB OHBONICLB. 

the sua had not yet risen high enough to clear thd 
hilltops, and disperse the iuists and fogs of the 
morning, which after such a night of rain, had en- 
veloped everywhere the beautiful world around. 
Let but the sun shine awhile, and the glory of the 
rhododendron — the beauty of light and shade — 
the splendor of the living green of the wild — the 
sheen and the sparkle of the wateirs — the summer- 
morning breeze — the song of the birds — all the 
glories of the month of June in the mountains — all 
these must enter into the heart, and bring gladness 
to despair itself* As it was, the Master and the 
Signor rather bad But, and Galen, and Trip, in their 
power; for the two hunters, it was very evident, 
were keen-set for the exploration of the falls. No 
one up here knew anything about these falls, other 
than the conjecture of their existence : at any rate, 
there was no known man who had seen them. The 
pride of discovery, "therefore, operated on the hunt?- 
ers ; and it was apparent that all Andante and the 
Master had to do, was to say the word, and they 
couldn't be bribed to go back. However, the sun 
began to shine out about this time, breaking through 
the mists of the valley ; and it was agreed that the 
exploring party should go out, while the others 
would amuse themselves fishing or shooting in the 
neighborhood of the camp, and, if they tired of that, 
occupy themselves in ornamenting our villa, and in 
improving its sleeping-apartment with a roof — so 



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THB FALLS OF THE BL40EW4TBB. 168 

that, in case we abode here another night, we might 
be able to sleep without being drenched with the 
rain. 

In accordance with this arrangement, the Master 
and the artist, with Powell and Conway, prepared 
themselves for the day, and set out on their enter- 
prise of discovery. The heavens seemed to favor 
us, for we had scarce yet filed into the stream, when 
the sun broke through the vapor of the valley and 
lit up the windings of the little river, until it shone 
all resplendent of gold, and amber, and snow-white 
foam. It was as if some celestial light had sud- 
denly illumined the dripping and cheerless Canaan, 
and we went 

"On our way attended 
Bj the vision splendid." 

Some short distance below the camp, when in the 
middle of a small, grassy island, we saw a large doe 
standing about fifty yards below us, among a group 
of rocks in the middle of the stream, where she was 
browsing upon the moss. Presently she saw us, 
and raised her head, standing motionless and lost 
in wonder — irresolute as Ariadne when she was 
about to fly. 

"She has fawns," whispered Powell, "back in 
the laurel, and has left them for a while, to come 
down into the river to drink, and eat the moss upon 
the rocks." 

" Don't stir," whispered Conway. " K^eep still as 



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164 THE BLAOKWATBB OHBONIOLE. 

you can, till I go back to the camp and get my rifle. 
It's an elegant shot !" 

The Master clfipped his hands, and the deer bound- 
ed in about two leaps to the bank of the river, and 
disappeared — vanished. 

"No, Conway," said the Master, "you wouldn't 
kill that beautiful creature, in cold blood !" 

" We hunters," replied the old forester, in some 
amazement, "don't think about their beauty, Mr. 
Philips ; it's their meat we look at." 

" It's as well not to have shot it, Conaway," said 
Powell. " She has fawns over there in the laurel." 

"How do you know that?" asked the Signer. 

" Why, come down to the place, and I'll show 
you." 

We moved down to the rocks and halted. " You 
see," said Powell, " here are the tracks of that deer 
coming into the water, and here they are going out. 
That shows, you see, that she went out the sanie 
way she came in." 

"Yes." 

" You observed she turned round to jump out of 
the river." 

"Yes." 

"Well, we hunters reason from this, that she 
must have fawns over here in the laurel, or she 
would have taken out on the other side— -which 
was natural, as she was standing with her head that 
way. What made her turn to get oiit the same way 



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THE FALLS OF THE BLAOKWATER. 165 

she came in.? Something turned her ; and as it is 
about the time now they have their fawns, I say it 
was to get back to them." 

"The. reasoning's good," replied the Signer. 

" I am satisfied," observed the Master, " and have 
learned a little more of the lore of the forest than I 
knew before." 

" If it was worth while," said Powell, " I would 
go into the laurel and get the fawns for you. But 
if there is anything I don't like, it is laurel." 

Of course, we had no idea of encumbering our- 
selves with the fawns ; so we pursued our way down 
the stream — now up to our knees in the water — 
now stooping under some great tree that had fallen 
across the stream — again along the banks, as they 
presented a better footway — iiow through the little 
meadows of luxuriant grass that skirted the shores 
of the stream — over islands of great rocks — break- 
ing into the laurel to get round some hanging cliffs 
— sometimes stepping on a slippery stone, and go- 
ing down soused all over in the water — until at 
length, some two miles below our camp, we came 
to the second falls. These are twelve feet high — a 
clear pitch, and in the shape of a horseshoe. The 
pool below them looked deep and dark, spotted with 
flakes of white foam and bubbles, and no doubt 
contained some large-sized trout. We did not stop, 
however, to test it, but proceeded on our course. 

The sun by this time had risen high above the 



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166 THS BLAOKWATEB OHBONIOLB. 

mountainB, and was shining down upon the Canaan 
with all his refulgence. The river was ever turning 
in its course, and every few moments some new 
charm of scenery was given to our view. The at- 
mosphere was soft and pleasantly warm, and the 
breeze gently fanned the trees. The wilderness was 
rich everywhere with hues of all dyes, and the banks 
of the river gleamed for miles with the flowers of 
the rhododendron. A scene of more enchantment 
it would be difficult to imagine. The forest with its 
hues of all shades of green — the river of delicate 
amber, filled with flakes of snow-white foam — and 
the splendor of the rhododendron everywhere in your 
eye. Picture all this in the mind — then remember 
that you were far beyond the limits of the world 
you had known — and say, was it of heaven, or was 
it of earth ! 

Such pure, unalloyed charm of soul as we felt 
that morning, it would be worth any hardship to 
enjoy. fTo disturbing thought had any place in 
the mind. It seemed that we had entered into. a 
new existence, that was one of some land of vision. 
As for the world we had left, it was as unknown to 
our thoughts as if we had never heard of it ; it was 
absolutely lapsed from all memory, and nothing but 
the beauty and the bliss of the untrodden Canaan 
entered into our hearts. 

As for myself — without pretending to speak at 
all for the Master, or the Signer, or the two hunters 



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THE FALLS OF THB BLAOKWATBB. 167 

— I am certain I had no idea of having ever been 
bom of woman — no idea of having ever known a 
passion of mortal joy or sorrow : I was some crea- 
tion of an undiscovered paradise (hitherto undreamed 
of even) altogether, for those few hours of a new 
soul. And it seems to me now, when I revert my 
tiioughts to that morning's exploration of the Black- 
water, that all the divinities of old fable must have 
had their dwelling-place out there ; that surely Pan 
and Faunus dwelt in those wilds ; that Diana lived 
there, and Latmos, on whose top she nightly 
kissed the boy Endymion, was the mountain that 
bordered the Black water ; that Venus — she of the 
sea — Anadyomene, sometimes left the sea-foam and 
reposed her charms in the amber flow of the river ; 
that Diana the huntress, with all her attendant 
nymphs, pursued those beautiful deer I saw ; that 
the naiads dwelt in the streams, and the sylphs lived 
in the air, and the dryads and hamadryads in the 
woods around ; that Egeria had her grotto nowhere 
else but in the Canaan — all the beautiful creations, 
of old poesy, the spirits or gods that now 

"No longer live in the faith of reason," — 

all were around me in the unknown wild — 

" The intelligible forms of ancient poets^ 
The fair humanities of old religion, 
The power, the beautj, and the majesty, 
That had their haunts in dale or piny mountain, 
Or forest by slow stream, or pebbly spring, 
Or chasms and watery depths.** 



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168 THE BULOJLWATEB OHBOKICLE. 

— Sometimes the fancj has possessed me that I 
saw Undine -Sitting in all her beauty by the foam 
of the little Niagara, the most beautifal of all the 
falls. Sometimes, too, I have seen Bonny Eil- 
meney — who was 

** As pure as pure conld be" — 

sleeping on the purple and gold-cushioned rocks, 
even as the Shepherd Poet has so exquisitely cre- 
ated her — her bosom heaped with flowers, and love- 
ly beings of the spirit world infusing iheir thoughts 
of heaven into her spotless soul — her 

'* Jonp of the lilly sheen. 
Her bonny snood of the birk sae gpreen, 
And those roses, the fairest that ever were seen.** 

All these images, and many more innumerable, of 
the creations of the genius of mankind, are asso- 
ciated in my mind, henceforth and for ever, with 
the Blackwater; and although I am fully aware 
that in here giving expression to these fancies, I 
run some little risk of stamping this historic narra- 
tive with the character of fiction, yet the judicious 
reader will observe that this chronicle was intended 
in its inception to be an impress of the body and 
soul of the expedition — the motions and affections 
of the mind were to be recorded, as well as the mo- 
tions and affections of the body — therefore he will 
see that it is all in keeping with the high aim of 
our undertaking. In accordance, then, with this 



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THE FALLS OF THE BLAOKWATBB. 169 

just view of things, I have no hesitation in writing 
it down here, that the whole expedition felt them- 
selves in a paradise all the morning; and I will 
take this occasion to observe in regard to myself 
especially, that I know something of the joys of 
this worid— have had my reasonable share, and 
more too, of the joy that comes of passion — but 
that perfect bliss of the soul — that feeling of entire 
happiness, which has no taint of our mortal lot in it 
— which is beatific, such as an angel ever lives in, 
I never had any distinct idea of — never anything 
but a glimmering, vague, mystified conjecture of, 
until I felt the heaven of that morning down the 
exquisite stream. 

!rbe reader no do^bt is a little startled at this 
apparent extravagance, but let him restrain him- 
self. It is all true, every word of it — as near as 
any felicities of the English language will convey a 
meaning ; and although he may deem the brain of 
the chronicler of the expedition a little turned (by 
thunder may be), yet I call confidently upon Mr. 
Butcut, upon Adolphus, upon the Master of St. 
Philip's, upon Triptolemus Todd, Esq., upon the 
Signor, and the two hunters, to say if it does not 
but poorly convey to their minds the feelings they 
experienced* Why, Mr. Butcut, forgetful of all 
his suflferings, grows enthusiastic when he thinks 
of the Blackwater, even at this day ; and Trip 
chuckles from ear to ear, with a joyous v^h — uh I 

8 

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170 THE BLAOKWATBB CHBOKICLB. 

if you but point your finger in the direction of the 
AUeganies I 

While we have stopped to dilate a little on the 
heavenly delights of the Canaan, the exploring ex- 
pedition did not stop, but wound its way down the 
bed of the stream ; and presently turning a rocky 
promo.ntory that jutted the mountain side, the 
Blackwater, some hundred yards ahead, seemed to 
have disappeared entirely from the face of the 
earth, leaving nothing visible down the chasm 
through which it vanished, but the tops of fir-trees 
and hemlocks — and there stood on the perilous 
edge of a foaming precipice, on a broad rock high 
above the flood, the Signor Andante (who had gone 
a-head), demeaning himself like one who had lost 
his senses, his arms stretched out wide before him, 
and at the top of his voice (which couldn't be 
heard for the roar and tumult around him), pouring 
forth certain extravagant and very excited utter- 
ances ; ^all that could be made out of which, as the 
rest drew close to his side, was something or other 

about 

"The cataract of Lodore 

Pealing its orisons," 

and other fragments of sublime madness about cat- 
aracts and waterfalls, to be found at large in the 
writings of the higher bards. 

Not stopping at all to benefit by the poetic and 
otherwise inspired outpouring of the wild and appa- 



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THE FALLS OP THE BLA.OKWATBB. 171 

rently maddened artist, thus venting himself to the 
admiring rocks and mountains and tumbling waters 
around, the expedition stepped out upon the fur- 
thest verge and very pinnacle of the foaming bat- 
tlements, and gazed upon the sight, so wondrous 
and so wild, thus presented to their astonished 
eyes. 

No wonder that the Signer demeaned himself 
with so wild a joy : for 

" All of wonderful and wild, 
Had rapture for the artist child ;*' 

and perhaps in all this broad land of ours, whose 
wonders are not yet half revealed, no scene more 
beautifully grand ever broke on the eye of poet or 
painter, historian or forester. The Blackwater here 
evidently breaks its way sheer down through one 
of the ribs of the backbone of the AUeganies. The 
chasm through which the river forces itself thus 
headlong tumultuous down, is just wide enough to 
contain the actual breadth of the stream. On 
either side, the mountains rise up, almost a perpen- 
dicular ascent, to the height of some six hundred 
feet. They are covered down their sides, to the 
very edge of the river, with the noblest of firs and 
hemlocks, and as far as the eye can see, with the 
laurel in all its most luxuriant growth— -befitting 
undergrowth to such noble growth of forest, where 
every here and there some more towering and vast 
Balsam fir, shows his grand head, like 



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172 THE BLACKWATEB CHRONICLE. 

" Caractacas in act to rally bis host.'* 

From the brink of the falls, where we now stand, 
it is a clear pitch of some forty feet. Below, the 
water is received in a large bowl of some fifteen or 
twenty feet in depth, and some sixty or eighty feet 
across. Beyond this, the stream runs narrow for a 
short distance, bound in by huge masses of rock 
— some of them cubes of twenty feet — then pitches 
down another fall of some thirty feet of shelving 
descent — then on down among other great rocks, 
laying about in every variety of shape and size — all 
the time falling by leaps of more or less descent, 
until it comes to something like its usual level of 
running before it begins the pitch down the moun- 
tain. This level of the stream, however, is but 

'* The torrent's smoothness ere it dash below ;" 

for it leads you to a second large fall, a clear pitch 
again of some forty feet. From the top of this you 
look down some two hundred feet more of such 
shelving falls and leaping descent, as we have de- 
scribed above, until you come again to another 
short level of the stream. This, in its turn, is the 
approach to another large fall* Here the river 
makes a clear leap again of about some thirty 
feet, into another deep basin; and looking on 
below you, you see some two hundred feet or 
more of like shelving falls and rapid rush-down of 
the stream, as followed upon the other large falls* 



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THE FALLS OF THE BLACKWATKB. 173 

Getting down below all these, the river having 
now tumbled headlong down some six hundred 
feet, more or less, in somewhere about a mile, it 
makes a bend in its course, along the base of the 
mountain to the left, and mingles its amber waters 
with the darker flow of the Cheat : the Cheat some 
three times the size of the Blackwater ; and roaring 
down between mountains (twelve or fifteen hun- 
dred feet sheer up above us), through, not a val- 
ley, A)ut a rocky and savage chasm, scarcely wide 
enough to hold the river. 

It will be perceived from this description, that 
the falls of the Blackwater must be extremely 
grand, picturesque, and wild, in their character. A 
stream of good size, that breaks down through one 
of the bold Allegany mountains — a fall in the 
whole, of some six hundred feet, must affect the 
mind grandly. If, instead of a beautiful little river 
of some fifty feet in breadth, running some two or 
three feet deep in the main, it were as large as the 
Cheat, the predominating sense of the beautiful 
that now belongs to it, would be lost in the terror 
it would inspire. As it is, let the floods get out in 
the mountains — let the snows of winter linger on in 
the AUeganies into the spring ; and all at once let 
the south wind bio w^ and the sun returning higher 
up this way, pour down his rays ; then would you 
behold such a mad rush and tumult of waters, roar- 
ing down the AUeganies, as would strike such 



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174 THE BLACKWATEB CHBONIOLE. _ 

awe into your soul, as not eren Niagara, in all 
his diffused vastness, could impress you witL But, 
then, it would be no longer the exquisite Black-' 
water, filling the mind with so wondrous and wild 
a sense of beauty, that now makes it a picture, such 
as no son of genius, who had once hung it up in the 
galleries of his brain, would ever take down. 

But enough of comment. We will leave the falls 
to the imagination of the reader, who can now work 
up for himself, from the sketch we have given, such 
a picture as will best please him; and go on to 
relate some little incidents of fishing, which we 
hope will impart some pleasure. 

K we remember aright, we left the expedition 
standing on the brow of the first fall, in some con- 
siderable tumult of soul at the grand sight that had 
broken so suddenly and unexpectedly upon them ; 
and the artist — the Signer Andante, in a frenzy 
of inspiration — 

" On a rock, whose haughty brow 
Frowns o'er Blackwater's foaming flood, 
Robed in the ragged garb he wore, 
With flashing eyes the artist stood f 

now repeating wildly to the Blackwater flood, the 
fiery song which the last of the bards uttered over 
" Old Conway's" (I don't mean Conway the man, 
but the river). 

We are happy, however, in being able to inform 
all who take any interest in the artist, that he did 



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THE FALLS OF THE BLACKWATEB. 175 

not conclude his rant in the grand manner of the 
last of the bards ; who — 

"Spoke, and headlong from the mountain's height^ 
Deep in the roaring tide, he plunged to endless night !*' 

No, Andante, backed himself very carefully out from 
the edge of the torrent ; and, very much in accord- 
ance with our preconceived estimate of him as a 
man of sense, followed the hunters into the hang- 
ing side of the mountain, where he, like the rest of 
us, letting himself down by clinging to the branches 
of laurel, and sliding on his back down the steep 
rocks, with the aid of an occasional precarious foot- 
hold, at length succeeded in getting below the cata- 
ract. 

We now prepared ourselves for the trout. It was 
by this time, near the middle of the day, too late, 
as we supposed, for any very good fishing ; for the 
large fish generally by this time lie about in the 
bed of the streams, and are indifferent to the lure 
of the bait. Notwithstanding this, we had scarcely 
thrown our lines into the deep water before us, 
before our bait was seized. The Master drew up 
the first fish. He had thrown in just at the edge of 
the foam and spray of the fall, and a quick, bold 
pull swept his line through the foam. On the 
instant, with a switch of his rod sidewise, then 
throwing it up aloft, he landed^ between his thighs 
(for it was water all around him) a fine vigorous 
trout, breaking off about two feet of the switch-end 



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176 THE BLAOKWATEB GHBOiaOLE. 

of hi8 maple rod. This trout was a foot long, and 
some three inches deep behind the shoulders. Pres- 
ently Powell drew out another of about the same 
size. Then the artist brought out a fine one from 
the bowl. And Conway, who by this time had 
picked up the best stick he could find, and tied a 
sliort bit of sea-weed to it — squatting down on 
his haunches, on a mossy rock, and looking the 
picture of some old sleepy satyr of the woods, pulled 
out his large fish without a word to anybody. It 
was great work; and the excitement intense. In 
the course of a quarter of an hour we had caught, 
among all of us, some twenty fine fish — some of 
them thirteen inches long — and this with no other 
bait than the common red worm. Indeed, if to take 
a quantity of trout be your only object, so full is the 
stream of them, and so ravenous are they," that 
with any sort of a line, and anything of a hook — a 
pin-hook if you can get no other — you may take as 
many as you can carry. But our tackle was good, 
and with the exception of a regular rod (which it 
would have been troublesome to have brought 
along upon so difficult an entei-prise) we were 
reasonably well provided for the sport. If the 
reader will bear it in mind, that the Blackwater 
never in all probability had a line thrown in it 
before, he need wonder at nothing we can tell him 
about the quantity of trout it contains, or the greed- 
iness with which they bite at any sort of bait. 



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THE FALLS OF THE BLAOKWATEB. 177 

As our purpose to-day was rather to explore the 
falls than fish, we drew up our lines and proceeded 
down the torrent. By dint of much scrambling, 
and crawling, climbing, leaping, hanging, and every 
other sort of means you can think of, of getting 
yourself along — sometimes swept down by the 
strength of the current, and lodged in some side 
eddy or pool — driving out the trout, and getting 
up and shaking yourself, with some two or three 
craw-fish, about the size of your hand, sticking to 
your clothes — we made our way down below the 
second of the large falls. Here we fished again for 
a while, and caught some fifty more trout ; some 
of us baiting our hooks with the gullets of the fish, 
cut out for that purpose ; and some with the red 
fins, which we would cut ofl: and use, by way of 
substitute for the fiy, and which was found to an- 
swer the purpose as well as anything else. 

Satisfied with the trial of the stream here, we 
drew up, and proceeded down our rugged way. 
Presently, missing the artist, who had gone ahead 
of us, we were under some apprehension that he 
had fallen down some of the rocks, and ended his 
mortal career, here and elsewhere — especially, 
when, after repeated calls, we could hear no answer 
from him. Moving down the stream, therefore, 
somewhat rapidly, we came upon a wide rock, 
over which the water lay about in pools; and 
where we saw scattered about, high and dry, a 

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178 THE BLAOKWATSB OHBONIOLE. 

goodly number of large trout, dying and dead. Be- 
low this rock the Signor had let himself down some 
ten feet ; and standing on a flat ledge, enveloped in 
spray from the water flowing down on either side of 
him, he was intently engaged in hauling out from 
a pool before him, the fine trout we saw around 
about as fast as he could bait his hook. He told 
us he had been here only some fifteen minutes ; 
and when he ascended, without a dry shred upon 
him, from the watery grotto wherein he had en- 
shrined himself, he gathered up some sixteen fish of 
the largest size we had taken that day. 

Leaving our rods at this point, we went on as 
rapidly as we could make our way, down the falls, 
and finished our exploration to the mouth of the 
Blackwater. Here, sitting down to rest, we sum- 
med up our review of the falls — in which we set- 
tled down to the estimate above given, that the 
leap-down of the Blackwater must be some six hun- 
dred feet, in somewhere about a mile. The reader 
will understand that this estimate is made, not by 
guesswork, but upon some certain data; for we 
measured all the larger falls. It will be perceived, 
however, that we can not be far wrong in our com- 
putation, when we make the statement, that from 
the top of each of the larger falls, you see, at the dis- 
tance of a few hundred yards down before you, the 
tops of fir-trees (their bodies not visible) peering up 
like bushes ; and when you get down to them, yon 



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J 



THB FALLS OF THR BLACKWATER. 179 

find they are great trees of some hundred feet or 
more in height. Standing upon the top of the first 
large fall, you look down upon some hundred and 
fifty feet or more, of the leap-down of the river — 
going down, then, to this point, you make a turn 
for some distance, and presently come upon the 
next large fall — from the top of which you look 
down upon about the same descent — and so on to 
the third. But enough. Let us now go back. 

About halfway up the falls a thunder-storm passed 
over us ; and the reverberation down the chasm was 
exceedingly grand. Stopping under a hanging 
rock that afforded us shelter from the storm, we 
saw in the wet sand the footprints of otter, and 
other evidences of their inhabiting the stream. 
Presently there came a volleyed discharge of the 
heaven's cannon ; and as the roar muttered itself 
away throughout the refts of the mountains, the 
sun broke out, and we proceeded on our way up 
the steep ascent — a rainbow over-arching the wa- 
terfalls, and the spray everywhere golden with 
sunbeams. At length, reaching the top of the 
grand chasm, and standing again on the brink of 
the impending rocks where we first hailed so rap- 
turously, the leap-down of the river — we took a 
last look of the wild scene and went on our way to 
the camp. 

Somewhere about five o'clock in the evening we 
came in, and depositing our spoils of the stream — 



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180 THE BLACKWATER CHRONICLE. 

about a hundred and fifty fine trout ; we eat and 
recounted our adventures alternately, until we and 
our audience grew tired and fell asleep ; the Prior 
murmuring as he went off, the noble lines of By- 
ron — 

" The Aesyrian came down like a wolf on the fold, 
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold,** — 

the Assyrian to his imagination being the dark and 
rushing Cheat, and the cohorts gleaming in purpU 
and gold^ the golden Blackwater and the other glit- 
tering streams of the Canaan. 



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HOW WE GOT OUT OF THE CANAAN. 



181 




CHAPTEE XIII. 

HOW WE GOT OUT OF THE CANAAN AND IN 8PITB 

OF OUB TEETH. 

Morning has dawned again upon the camp, and 
with it we arose to prepare for our homeward 
march. We took our last bath in the Blackwater, 
and at breakfast eat up all that remained of our 
provisions. Some of us, sated with the trout, 
breakfasted entirely upon the bacon that was left. 
In our hardy and rough life, the fish had ceased 
to be food to us, and a beefsteak would have been 



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182 THE BLACKWATER OHRONIOLE. 

the greatest of luxuries. Had we been prepared 
to remain out longer, it will be seen, therefore, that 
we would have taken to killing the deer for our 
table — which we only did not do heretofore, be- 
cause it seemed like wanton butchery to slay the 
beautiful "foresters," when we had the finest of 
all fish that swim in such abundance. Everything, 
however, was now gone — the ham and middling 
eaten, the last of the coffee drank — and not a 
crumb of bread remained. There were about three 
hundred trout, cleaned and ready for use, in our 
kitchen, but we turned up our noses at them. Out 
of these, Conway selected some of the finest, and 
making a basket of the bark of the fir-tree, packed 
them up to take home, no one else choosing to be 
troubled with them : all the rest we left on the rock 
— a feast for the otters, or whatever other of the 
wild inhabitants of the Canaan, who were fond of 
fish. 

With our wallets strapped on our shoulders, and 
all equipped for the march, we waited the rising of 
the sun, to marshal us the way we should go ; for 
having no compass along, the god of day was our 
only guide, preserver, and friend. Presently, the 
sun arose, "blushing discontented" at the clouds 
around, and Powell, with his rifle in one hand and 
the frying-pan in the other, started up from his 
seat, followed first by Conway, then by all of us — 
and thus we broke our way into the laurel, making 



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HOW WE GOT OUT OF THB CANAAN. 183 

straight up the mountain, that rose high above us, 
dark and dense with all the green leaves of sum- 
mer. 

Beaching the top of the ridge, the hunters held 
some counsel as to their course; and telling us, 
confidently, that they would take us to the glade 
on the Potomac, where we had left our horses, by 
two o'clock, we strode through the wild in high 
spirits — even Peter vaunting himself very much, 
and proclaiming the glorious feelings of a life in 
the woods. IVith much jest, and a good deal of 
extravagant utterance of one sort and another — 
some occasional practical remark in regard to the 
wealth of land and water around us — we went 
careeringly on our way, like a band of Indians 
single file on a war-path, if path that can be called 
where path there was none. 

In about two hours of such walking, a damper 
was put on our spirits by the announcement of 
gathering clouds. Presently down came the rain ; 
and a little tired already with the climbing up 
and down the mountains, and the rough and 
tumble of it all — the tumhle done in the main 
by Trip, who fell along as was his wont — we 
stopped at length under a tree, until the shower, 
as we supposed it, would pass by. We sat here for 
some time, but the forest being by this time entirely 
wet — which of course would wet us in walking 
through it — we concluded that we might as well 



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184 THE BLAOKWATEB OHEONIOLB. 

take the rain in one shape as another, and proceed 
on our way. But here at once a question arose as 
to where the way was, for we had lost the sun to 
guide us. A right sharp debate took place, but 
Powell insisting upon a certain direction, off we 
started — Peter beginning to show a little gloom 
of countenance, and none of us a face of the bright- 
est However, on we went, forcing a spirit we did 
not entirely feel, and after about two hours more 
of hard walking, all wet and very well blown, we 
came to a halt at an exclamation made by Galen, 
the purport of which was, that a bent tree just be- 
fore us, was the very same bent tree that we had 
stopped under two hours ago. This was a very 
discomforting remark to have thrust upon us, and 
was controverted by the whole party. And there 
was great difficulty in deciding the matter, for the 
wilderness is so covered everywhere with moss, and 
so entirely trackless, and there are so many places 
that look alike, and so many trees bent over by the 
storms all about, that the fact of our having been 
here two hours before was about being decided in 
the negative (the wish being father to the conclu- 
sion), when the doctor discovered a cut in the side 
of a tree, where he had stuck his hatchet when he 
was here before. 

This settled the question. It was clear we had been 
walking the last two hours in a circle, and had 
come back to the point we started from. Clouds 



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! 



HOW WB GOT OTJT OF THE OANAAN. 185 

now gathered over the countenance of the expedi- 
tion, about as dark as those over tbe face of the 
heavens ; and each one manifested himself accord- 
ing to his temper under adversities — defied or be- 
moaned his fate. A great disputation was imme- 
diately entered upon, as to where the north was. 
Even Powell and Conway differed entirely. Peter 
vehemently urged it was here — Triptolemus con- 
tended it was there. The Signor tried to make it 
out by the dark side of the trees ; but, in the gloom 
of the day, tliey were on all sides dark. Oalen 
twisted his neck to no purpose, looking up for a 
light spot in the clouds by which to place the sun. 
The Prior said and did nothing, but looked as if he 
had come to the conclusion that the Canaan had no 
north. 

"There is nothing clear about the whole mat- 
ter," exclaimed Peter, gloomily, " but that we are 
lost!" 

"That's clear as preitching,*' answered Trip. 

" What an infernal idiot I was to get into this 
scrape !" continued Peter. " A man with a family 
— living in ease and comfort, enjoying the society 
of my friends — I may say surrounded by every- 
thing a man ought to desire — in fact, more too ! — 
But such is man! — to come out here into this 
crooked wilderness, where there is nothing straight 
-T-no paths — nothing leading anywhere! Lost — 
yes, undoubtedly lost, and with a fine chance of 



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186 THE BLACKWATEB OHBONIOLB. 

being either starved or walked to death — both, I 
dare say I" 

" Or eaten by the bears,'' said Trip. 

" Any bear that attempts that game on me," re- 
joined Peter, " would play into my hand." 

"Gentlemen," observed the Signor, "there is 
nothing gained by staying here, that I can see. I 
propose that Conway take the lead, as he and 
Powell differ about the course. Let's try his luck, 
and see what will come of it." 

" Agreed," said Powell ; " let Conaway try it : but 
you are going the wrong way. Here, more to the 
left, I say, we will come upon the horses. Here's 
the north, and here's northeast — and northeast is 
our course." 

" What do you judge from, Powell ? The skies 
are all clouds ; you can't judge by the moss, and 
the weather-stains on the trees — for they are on all 
sides alike." 

" Well, I can't say rightly what I judge from. 
But there is something in the shape of the hills — 
the way they slope — and the looks of the country, 
that makes me say here's the northeast ; and I be- 
lieve in an hour or two we would come right down 
on our horses." 

Powell was evidently very much mortified at his 
having walked us round in a circle for the last two 
hours. But he accounted for it satisfactorily enough, 
by reminding us that in sitting down here before, 



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HOW WB GOT OFT OF THE CANAAN. 187 

and shifting our position under the trees to aroid 
the rain, we had unconsciously lost sight of the 
direction we were on ; and starting off in the con- 
fusion of a disputation upon the vexed question as 
to where the sun was, we had, without considera- 
tion, taken the direction we happened to be facing 
at the time. An intelligent man, like Powell, takes 
great pride in his knowledge of the woods ; and in 
proportion as he estimated his knowledge highly, he 
was now greatly mortified, as was evident from his 
whole, bearing. The doctor, seeing this, from the 
kindness of his nature stepped in to the mortified 
forester's relief. 

" Never mind it, Powell," he observed, blandly. 
" It don't at all impugn your woodcraft in our opin- 
ion. Daniel Boone himself would get lost out here 
in a cloudy day. But let Conway try it for a while, 
as proposed. It's just trying his luck, you know — 
which may fail too." 

"I would rather Powell should keep the lead — 
he knows more about the woods than I dO|" said 
old Conway, a little infirm of purpose. 

" No, I have missed it once," observed Powell, 
" and it's but fair that Conway should try it." 

" It's no such mighty matter," said Trip ; " I could 
do it myself I" 

" I'il bet," answered Peter, " that if we were to 
follow you, we wouldn't get five miles away from 
where we are now staiiding in the next three weeks 1" 



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188 THE BLACEWATEB OHBONIOLE. 

"Your libch^ Trip," said the Master, "couldn't 
bring as out, by possibility, anywhere else than at 
the exact opposite point to that we are aiming for 1" 

" Ugh — uh 1" replied Trip. " If you follow me, 
I'll hit the Fairfax stone in an ^our. I feel, and 
have felt, all the morning, somehow, as if it ought 
to be over here. And you all know, gentlemen, 
I've a sort of lean that way." 

" That's exactly my opinion," said Powell. " I 
would be willing to bet on it, that it is just in the 
direction Mr. Todd says. That's the course I've 
been arguing for with Conaway." 

" Come, give up the point, Powell." 

" Blast the crooked wilderness, that I should have 
got turned around so I I a'n't worth anything any 
longer I" 

" Never mind it, Powell. Man is prone to error." 

" That's what old Davy Waddell says," observed 
the doctor. 

" How was that, Adolphus ?" 

" Tou all know Davy, gentlemen — " 

"Yes — a very shrewd, clear-headed man." 

" And a very original one." 

" The state hasn't a more remarkable one in its 
limits." 

"That's a risky remark — there are so many of 
them 1 But what about Davy ?" 

" Well, I'll tell you," resumed the doctor. " Some 
years ago, I was at the races down at Baltimore — 



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HOW WE GOT OUT OF THE CANAAN. 189 

about the time the Central club was in its hey-day 
— before racing h3,d died down in the country. 
Stevens's 'Black Maria^had beaten the Soutliern 
horse in the great race of the season. But a race 
was made by Colonel Johnson, to run ' Trifle' against 
the Northern mare the next day. Trifle was then 
young, and pretty much unknown. Trifle beat the 
race. Chere was a great deal of excitement about, 
and a good deal of money lost and won. After the 
race was over, I walked up to the hotel, where there 
was a great crowd, and a good deal of loud talking, 
laughing, and paying over of money, going on. In 
the midst of all this melee^ Davy's voice sounded 
high above it all, and compelled attention^ It seems 
that the most of the betters had staked upon Black 
Maria — and very naturally too, for she had won the 
race of the day before against one of Johnson's best 
horses — the 'Bonnets of Blue,' I believe. Davy, 
however, had bet on Trifle, and of course he won. 
He was accordingly in high spirits, and was conso- 
ling the losers by explaining to them how,prone man 
was to a/rrar^ as he called it : — 

" * Gentlemen, I tell you, you needn't think any 
the worse of yourselves for betting on the wrong 
mare, for I wish I may nBver see another horserace 
if man a'n't always committing arrar in some shape 
or other. It a'n't in his nature to avoid it ! Why, 
sar, let any man — any intelligent man — any' of 
ypu gentlemen around me — any man, sar, who 

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190 THE BLAGKWATSB OHBONIOLE. 

doesn't know the geargraphy of the country he's a ri* 
ding in, come to a place in the woods where the roads 
fork, and he's sare to take the wrong fork — he's 
sure to do it, sar ! And, gentlemen, if there's a cock- 
fight a transpiring anywhere, the most of the betters 
are sure to pick out the fowl that's whipped — I never 
knew it otherwise I Pitch up a handful of coppers 
in the middle of a bar-room that's full of •people, 
and some two or three, by chance — altogether by 
chance — will say, " Heads," but all the rest of them 
will call out, " Tails 1" and when you come to pick 
up the copp As, it's heads they all are : I never knew 
it otherwise, unless thar was some cheating going 
on. And now, gentlemen-losers, I'm going to take 
the liberty of giving you a little advice — I always 
practise on it — and I don't know that I ever lost 
any money except when I've been foolhardy enough 
to go against it : and that is, always to bet against 

the majority ; for I'll be d d, sar, if I ever have 

known 'em to be right, except when it was clearly 
by chance I You see it must be so — for, seeing as 
how man is prone to arrar, the majority of 'em must 
go wrong ; and the majority being necessarily wrong, 
whenever you want to bet your money upon a race, 
or cock-fight — at faro, or ^^ sweat," or "double O," 
or anything at all at which gentlemen pleasure them- 
selves — find out the general opinion, and put up 
your money against it, as I did on the Virginia mare 
on principle, and you'll double your pile 1 — you may 



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HOW WE GOT OUT OF THE CANAAN. 191 

depend upon it, as sure as my name's David Wad- 
dle, at your service I' " 

"Well, now," said old Conway, "that Waddell 
must be considerable of a smart man ; for whenever 
I've been out in the woods, and didn't know I was 
right, I've mostly, I may say, gone wrong." 

" What's the opinion here, gentlemen," inquired 
Peter, "«in regard to the northeast ?" 

"That question has neither a majority nor mi- 
nority attached to it. There are no two of us who 
agree on it." 

" Allow me to say, gentlemen," observed Peter, 
" that this thing is not to be trifled with. It's a very 
serious business. Now, it strikes me that there is 
something in Davy Waddle's opinion, and tliat we 
ought to act upon it. Something might come out 
of it. Let every man, I say, point to where he 
thinks the north is." 

It was done, on the word ; and the fact was de- 
monstrated that the expedition entertained seven 
diflferent opinions on the subject. . Of course, it was 
impossible, in our case, to act on Waddell's theory 
of going ri^ht, and we had to give up that chance. 
One of three things, therefore, was all that was left 
to us : either to follow Powell, who had just walked 
us round for two hours in a circle ; or trust to Trip's 
lean to the Fairfax stone ; or stake our deliverance 
upon old Conway, who seemed by no means confi- 
dent in his judgment. Something, however, had 



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192 THE BLAOKWATBR OHBONIOLB. 

to be done ; and, as is usually the case in such mat- 
ters, we adopted the wrong alternative — put Oon- 
waj in the lead, and went to the right, when we 
should have gone to the left, as it afterward turned 
out 

Now:, then, Conway leading, we once more broke 
our way through the wild, striking a course that 
presently brought us to some laurel. This we skirted 
for a while, but at length found ourselves hemmed 
in by a great belt of it, spreading everywhere as far 
as the eye could see. There is always a stream of 
some size in the laurel ; and we now plunged into 
the brake to see in what direction the water flowed. 
If it ran to the right hand, both the hunters agreed 
that we would be on the waters east of the Back- 
bone, flowing into the Potomac — and would be on 
the right course ; if it ran to the left, it would then 
be certain that we were still west of the Bone, on 
the waters of the Cheat — and therefore on the 
wrong course altogether. When we made our way 
to the stream, it ran to the left; and hope now put 
off farther than ever. There was evident dismay 
upon the countenance of the expedition, and some- 
thing of a disposition manifested \o revolt against 
the guides — which shows that, notwithstanding all 
the talk about man's individual advancement in this 
nineteenth century, he is, in and about, the precise 
same animal at bottom now that he was when he 
murmured at the leading of Moses and Aaron in 



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J 



HOW WE GOT OtTT OF THE OANAAN. 198 

the Arabian wilderness. However, be this as it may, 
there was evidently nothing to be gained by mingling 
our murmurs, here in the wilds of the Canaan, with 
the gentler murmurs of this unknown little stream. 
So we crossed over the laurel — which gave us about 
as much to do as we could attend to for the time — 
and, right or wrong, kept on the way we were go- 
ing ; and after about an hour's hard and rather dis- 
consolate work, we came to a halt, on the top of a 
ridge, to rest ourselves, and let Peter come up with 
us, who by this time was farther behind than was 
deemed consistent with his safety. Presently, that 
unhappy gentleman came in, looking very much dis- 
mantled — his face red — breathing hard — and re- 
newing, for about the hundred and nineteenth time 
(according to Triptolemus's arithmetic), his proposi- 
tion to encamp. 

^^Oh, this is most damnable I" exclaimed Peter. 
"What o'clock is it?" 

" You had better ask, ' What's the latitude ?' " 

"I take it," said Powell, "it is somewhere be- 
tween dinner-time and supper-time." 

" Is there anything to eat ?" asked Peter. " I'm 
fiuflfering for food ; my strength is nearly gone 1" 

" Conway, give him a raw trout out of your bas- 
ket," replied the artist. 

" Have you any bread?" inquired Peter. 

" Not a crumb." 

** Nor any meat ?" 

9 

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194 THE BLAOKWATEB OHBOiaOLB. 

" No meat — not a bite 1" 

"Well, that settles it — we must encamp, and let 
tbe hunters go out end shoot a deer." 

" No, not so, we must get into the settlements at 
all hazards," interposed the artist. 

" If the sun would only come out, I'll insure it 
to reach the horses yet to-day," said Powell. 

" If I could have had any idea of this," rejoined 
Peter — "that I should be walked to death in this 
manner — I don't think — " 

" Don't think anything ! It's clear that all we 
have to do is to go on. We may get out somewhere. 
If we stay here, we may starve." 

At this moment, in the midst of all these doubts 
and fears of ours, and the perplexity and bewilder- 
ment of the guides, some one thought he discerned 
something like a slight lighting up of thei clouds. 
This led to a very excited debate, maintained with 
great ability on all sides, whether it indicated the 
position of the sun, or might not be just as well 
caused by the wind getting up in that quarter. Af- 
ter a good deal said, however, that we will not stop 
to record here — all of which was strongly character- 
ized by the diflferent mental and moral peculiarities 
of the various parties to the discussion — it was at 
length put to the vote and passed, that no man should 
henceforth say a word upon the question as to where 
the four pointjs of the compass were, but that the 
matter should be left to the two hunters, upon whose 

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HOW WE GOT OUT OF THE CANAAN. 196 

deliberations, undisturbed by any suggestions of 
ours, the fate of the expedition should entirely de- 
pend. Powell and Conway, therefore, undisturbed 
by any confusing opinions of ours, presently came 
to a determination as to their course, and off we 
struck again through the wilderness. 

We will not encumber our narrative with a reci- 
tal of all that occurred on the march, but merely 
state, that the route we had fallen on in our bad 
luck, led us through about as rugged, as savage, 
and as difficult a wilderness, as a nian could well 
get into ; that we climbed hills so steep that we 
had to pull ourselves up by clinging to anything ^ 
we could lay hold of, and get down them as best 
we could — that we were now all the time either 
crossing mountain-tops, or clambering their sides, 
or plunging into the laurel that filled the ravines 
between; that sometimes the dead trees would 
cover the ground everywhere before us — lying six 
feet high when we would come to scale them, and 
often so decomposed that we would sink into them 
up to the waist. It was through such a wild that 
we now forced our way; until, at length, some- 
where about five o'clock in the evening, jaded and 
much exhausted for want of food, that part of the 
expedition that was in the advance called a halt in 
front of some very extensive laurel just ahead, the 
look of which made it necessary, In the opinion of 
the guides, to hold a council of war. 

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196 THE BULCKWATEK CHBONICT^. 

" This time we straggled in at considerable inter- 
vals — an indication of our weary plight; and each 
one, as he came in, instead of sitting down as usual, 
unstrapped his wallet, and stretched himself out at 
full length on the moss, wet as it was from the rain 
of the day. Tip to this time no one had entertained 
the idea, seriously, that we would not be able to 
get out of the Canaan some time or other during 
the day. But that hope was now failing us ; and 
although we had nothing to eat, it was seriously 
deliberated whether we had not better build a fire 
and prepare to pass the night where we were. But 
at this time, the clouds that had obscured the sky all 
day, broke away, . and the wind rising, the sun 
presently shone out ; whereupon it was determined 
to make one more effort to get out, and if that 
failed, then. to encamp, roast the few trout we had 
for a supper, and take the chances of killing a deer 
in the morning for our breakfast. 

This determination met with no favor from Peter, 
who was dead opposed to any further walking for 
the day. He ui^ged the advantage of encamping in 
a great many points of view — but aU to no avail; 
and, finally, as a last resort, made an appeal to 
feeling. 

"Well, then, gentlemen, go on. One thing is 
certain, that I can go no further. You will have 
to leave me behind, if you can reconcile it to your 



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HOW WE GOT OUT OF THB OANAAN. 197 

" Man in a state of nature has very little of that 
commodity," said the Prior. 

" As for myself," said the Signor, " I am some- 
what at best, like the Spanish sharper, who threw 
hid aside in his youth, because he was told it had a 

"Tou may make yourselves as merry as you 
please with my sufferings," replied Peter, with an 
air of resignation, " but it's utterly impossible for 
me to go any further. And what is it all for ?. We 
are wandering about here, nobody knows where. 
Gentlemen, it's the height of nonsense. Let's en- 
camp and eat something." 

" Hadn't we, Peter, much better keep on a little 
longer— we might, by chance, get to the horses." 

" If we stay here we will never get out," said the 
Signor. " Powell, move on." 

" Stop awhile," -said Peter, " let me ask a question 
of Powell. Powell, have you any distinct idea at 
all of where we are ?" 

" Well, to tell you the truth, Mr. Botecote, I have 
not. All the water we have come upon yet, has 
been running the wrong way to me. If I could see 
some water running to the right of our course, I 
should feel satisfied." 

" Tou really give it up then, Powell ?" 

" No, I don't say I give it up — I only say I don't 
know where we are." 

" What do you say, Conway V^ 



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198 THB BLACKWATEB OHBOiaOLE. 

"I'd give something to be back on the Black- 
water where we started from." 

"There it is — I knew it would be so from the 
beginning. We don't know where we are. These 
hunters haven't the slightest idea themselves. It's 
all abominable I It is perfectly intolerable! It's 
insufferable ! It's" — 

" It's bad enough, that's true," said one. 

" And likely to be worse," said another. 

" My heels are rubbed raw," said Galen, " and 
will be, I expect, rawer before we get out." 

"Towells was right about the Canaan," said 
Trip. 

"Towers," siadthe Signor; "Towers, Trip, don't 
call him Towells. Tou only add to Peter's aggra- 
vations." 

" He's beyond such niceties now," said the Mas- 
ter. " It is only when the body's at ease that the 
mind is delicate." 

" May Towers roast for this !" said Peter. " It's 
as much owing to him, as anybody else, that I came 
out into this desert. He took very good care, how- 
ever, not to come himself 1" 

The expedition, by this time, was well under way 
again, skirting the edge of the laurel that lay wide 
to the left of us, while the mountain, on whose 
slopes we walked, rose high and bold above us, on 
the right. Pursuing. a course along the rugged and 
broken side of the mountain, it was not long before 



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HOW WB GOT OUT OP THE OANAAN. 199 

we found ourselves entangled in the midst of some 
fallen trees that blocked up the way. This broke 
up the single file line of our march ; and each man 
hunted out for himself the best way to get through, 
in doing which, we became a good deal scattered 
about the forest. In this dispersion of our forces, 
it so fell out, that Galdn, stopping astraddle of the 
last monstrous hemlock he had to climb over — his 
sore heel impelling him thereto — saw something 
that he took for an old blaze, on a tree before him. 

This he announced in a loud voice; and there 
was a general gathering in of the expedition around 
him. It was an undoubted blaze. But whether it 
led to the Potomac settlements, or those in the 
opposite direction on the Cheat, was all matter of 
doubt. At all events, it would lead us out some- 
where, if it could be traced. With the purpose of 
forming some opinion in regard to it, Powell fol- 
lowed it for some distance up the mountain — then 
retumed,.and traced it down the mountain, until he 
came to the laurel. Here he called us to him; 
when he and Conway held a very earnest and ex- 
cited consultation — the result of which was a dec- 
laration, that if the blazing continued on through 
the laurel, it would, in all likelihood lead us to the 
Potomac. 

Stimulated by the probability of being near the 
Potomac, we now broke into the laurel, and forced 
our way through its tangled branches with an im- 



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200 THE BLACKWATBB GHBONIOLB. 

petuosity that made nothing of its diflSculties — 
eagerly hunting out the cuts on the trees — now 
losing them — now finding them again; until, at 
length, we came upon something like an old cattle 
path. Down this we made our way, without any heed 
to the blaze — half in a run — Triptolemus thrown 
out into the bushes occasionally — and Peter full up 
with the movement, even when it was at its fastest. 
Old Conway was ahead, springing along with the 
light and nimble movement of a kitten, notwith- 
standing the rifle on his shoulder, and the basket 
of fish, the coffee-pot, and tin-cups dangling to his 
girdle ; and presently, he reached the base of the 
mountain — where he soon came to the banks of a 
stream, and cried out that it was the Potomac. 
Powell came up and made proclamation to the same 
effect ; and The Potomac was shouted all along our 
line, as we descended the steeps of what we now knew 
was the Backbone: the echoes crying out every- 
where The Potomac — the woods and the fioods 
still reverberate with the voices, even as we stood 
silent on the banks of the laurel-crowned river. 

" I knew it, gentlemen, I knew it would be thus. 
We were bound to get out," said Peter, very ex- 
travagant in his happiness — his genuine character- 
istics beginning to reveal themselves for the first 
time since we abandoned our horses and took to it 
afoot. "Yes, gentlemen," he continued, oratori- 
cally, "we are out at last — and I will say it, owing 



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HOW WB GOT OUT OF THE CANAAN. 201 

to a degree of indomitable energy, perseverance, 
skill, fortitude, and endurance, and so forth, et 
cetera, that has never been matched. It is not to 
be denied, that history contains many instances of 
desperate achievement, bearing some resemblance 
to this deliverance of ours — there is the well- 
known case of Moses in the bullrushes — but what 
are bullrushes, I would like to know, to this all-fired 
laurel ? Grass ! nothing but grass I Napoleon got 
out from the forests of Kussia — but how? With 
all his grand army gone ! We stand here, gentle- 
men, with our ranks yet unthinned by the loss of a 
single follower. It is true, gentlemen, I was a little 
disconsolate at one time; but then I recalled to 
mind the case of Marius sitting among the ruins of 
Carthage, in the very acme of his adversity ; and 
remembering that he was a second time proconsul, 
my soul rose up within me, and I would have suflfer- 
ed the last extremity of martyrdom in the shape of 
locomotion, before I would have given up. The 
case, also, of Moses and the children of Israel oc- 
curred to me ; and I determined it should not be 
said by posterity that the children could get into 
their Canaan, while I wasn't able to get out of ours. 
I will even, gentlemen, go so far as to say, that at 
that crisis, when I thought we had found out the per- 
petual motion, from the rounds we were describing 
in the forest — I will candidly admit it, out of my 
regard for the truth of history — that just then, 1 

9* 



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THE BLACKWATEB CHBOKIOLE. 

verily believe I would have submitted to the opera- 
tion of being eaten by a bear, without feeling any 
indignation at the audacious effrontery of such a 
procedure. But Allah Akbarl — God is Great! — 
and the bounties of Providence are new every day ! 
— and here I am — ^you may say in spite of my teeth 
— and, indeed, you may say of all the other parts of 
my body. When I look back upon my tracks, and 
think of the laorel, and the interminable mountains 
— and such mountains, and the piles of rotten hem- 
locks and firs that I have been stuck in — and that I 
have been at it now from sunrise, without any inter- 
mission, up to this time, six o'clock in the evening — 
thirteen mortal hours — and all without anything 
to eat, may the devil take my lights I as Towers 
says, if I am not utterly lost in astonishment at 
those powers, hitherto unrevealed to me, that have 
stood me out. It's glory enough for any one man's 
lifetime : and I tell you all now, if ever you catch 
me in the Canaan again, unless it is a horseback, 
and with plenty of provisions, my name's not Peter 
Botecote. By the way, men, how far off are the 
horses from here ? That's a matter to be seen to 
at once." 

" Well, I reckon, the glade where we left them, 
must be some six miles above us," said old Conway. 

" At least that," said Powell. 

Peter fell again at this information. But upon 
Conway's saying that it was not more than some 



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HOW WE GOT OUT OF THB CANAAN. 203 

three miles to his house through the woods, and by 
a path all the way, it was determined to let the 
horses stay where they were, and go on at once 
afoot. 

So we moved on, crossed the Potomac, and struck 
into a good path winding through the forest. We 
went along at a rapid walk ; and even at this fast 
gait were urged to go faster by Peter, now dashing 
along with a free swing up among the foremost of 
the party. Indeed, you would suppose from the 
energy of his movements, that he was walking for 
a wager — so reanimated was he at having accom- 
plished the exodus of the Canaan. 

At this rate we walked about an hour — and had 
yet some two or three miles to go. It was evident 
that Conway was tolling us along. But on we 
went, getting down from a pace that was four miles 
an hour, to one that was only two ; and at length 
crossing Laurel run (one of the tributaries of the 
Potomac) we ascended the long hill beyond, at 
scarcely the rate of a mile an hour. 

The lighter part of the expedition rose this hill at 
evident advantage, and sat down on a log to rest. 
But weight was now beginning to tell effectually ; 
and the heavy forces advanced at a very slow and 
labored pace, each one wheeling in upon the log as 
he came up, except Butcut, who passed on without 
stopping, or casting even so much as a look to 
where we sat. 



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204 THE BLAOKWATEB CHBONIOLE. 

" Don't you mean to stop and blow, But?" 
" Blow the devil I I'm blowing all I can as it is !" 
"Tou had better stop — we have two miles yet 
to go." 

And upon this announcement Peter wheeled to, 
and came down heavily upon a stump near bim, 
without saying a word. 

It was evident now that the expedition was very 
nearly on its last legs. Nothing but that fortitude 
of endurance, indomitable energy, &c., which Mr. 
Botecote had alluded to down on the banks of the 
Potomac, had kept it moving up to this time. One 
.was a little faint — another was dizzy about the 
brain — a third had a film over his eyes — Trip said 
that there was a humming, and buzzing, and singing 
going on in his ears, very much like the running 
down of his watch when the main-spring breaks : 
every one had something out of gear — even Powell 
and Conway were overtasked ; and it is certain that 
nothing but " the unconquerable free-will" of some 
of us, and " the undying hope" of all, to get into 
Conway's, kept us from remaining out all night 
starved in the woods, unless, maybe, it was a small 
flask of brandy, containing about a gill, which the 
Prior, with a wise forethought, had brought along 
with him as physic for his body in case he should 
be bit by a rattlesnake. 

The flask was now produced, and each man swal- 
lowed a mouthful of it raw. Thus temporarily 



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HOW WK GOT OUT OF THE CANAAN. 205 

propped up, we once more set forward on the 
march ; and straggling wearily along the now broad 
and beaten path, with long intervals between — al- 
most utterly exhausted, we at length, late in the 
twilight, defiled from the woods into the open fields 
of the Conway possession (held by squatter tenure), 
about as dilapidated a set of adventurers as ever 
wandered a forest — ragged, tattered, and torn, and 
all forlorn — starved, haggard, barely able to drag 
ourselves up the gentle slope that led to the cabin- 
door — the very contrast of the bright, buoyant, 
elate, trimly-arrayed, and may wg not say it, rather 
stylish-looking band, that only four days ago had 
witched the world of these regions with our noble 
footmanship. 

I — the writer of this chronicle — with every fac- 
ulty of my nature, as I supposed, obliterated by fa- 
tigue and starvation — with my head bent down to 
my breast — entered the threshold of the old forest- 
er's door, and, putting out my hand, took hold of 
what I supposed was the hand (extended to me in 
welcome) of the mistress of the household ; but it 
was not hers — it was the soft hand, freshly washed, 
of the old man's lithe daughter of seventeen sunai- 
mers ; and I take it upon me. to say that, broken 
down as I was, the touch thrilled every fibre of my 
heart — and I raised my head and looked into the 
face of the seventeen summers before me — beheld 
the red of her cheek and the beam of her young 



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206 



THE BLACKWATEB CHBONIOI^. 



eye — and for the moment I thought she might be 
Donna Maria Gloriana of Spain, or the queen of 
Sheba in all her glory! — such and so great is the 
power of " woman divine" over a man who has been 
associating for some time with nothing but men and 
bears in a wilderness. Holding Gloriana Conway's 
hand as daintily as if it had been the queen of 
Spain's, my soul revived within me. But when I 
let it go, I relapsed straightway into my former 
nothingness. It was but like the swallow of brandy, 
a temporary stimulant, and nothing more; so I 




acted upon a sounder philosophy, and dipped in 
^vith the rest into the insides of a monstrous pump- 
kin-pie, that was already more than half-devoured. 



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HOW WE GOT OUT OF THE CANAAN. 207 

" I thank Heaven," said Peter, scarcely intelligi- 
ble, owing to an over-large mouthful, " for this de- 
liverance !" And as his heart revived within him, 
he grew classical, and repeated with much unction 
the happy words which Gil Bias wrote over his door 
at Lirias : — 

" Inveni portum. Spes et fortuna valete, 
Sat me lusistis^ nunc ludite alios.'' 

" Gentlemen,'*' said the artist, speaking too out of 
the fullness of his mouth as well as of his heart — 
" the knight of the gloomy countenance brightens. 
He has scarcely yet set his foot within the precincts 
of civilization, and the immortal creation of Le Sage 
rises unbidden to his thoughts !" 

" It is clear But was never intended for savage 
life," observed one. 

"He hasn't made a joke since we've been out," 
said Trip. " The first time he gave any symptoms 
of being himself again, was when he made that 
speech — back on the banks of the Potomac — about 
Marius and Moses." 

" He's lucky he wasn't bom an Indian," rejoined 
the artist. 

And to these, and many other such remarks, Mr. 
Peter Botecote made once in a while a reply ; but 
what he said must for ever remain lost to the world 
— for his mouth was so full, that nobody could pos- 
sibly make it out. 

After a satisfactory supper, which in due course 



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208 THE BLACKWATEB CHBONICLB. 

of time was prepared for us by the family of the 
hospitable old hunter — consisting of fried bacon 
and eggs, broiled venison, some of the trout Conway 
had brought home, a large coflFee-pot of strong coffee, 
bread, milk, butter, honey, maple-sirup, and various 
comfits and preserves — which we mention here to 
show how well stocked is the home of a deer-hunter 
in the AUeganies — we stretched ourselves out side 
by side, on some pallets spread down on the floor 
before the fire, and in a few moments were all dead 
asleep. 

And so ended the day we got out of the Canaan. 



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THS BETUKN TO WINBTOK. • 209 



OHAPTEE XIV. 



We remained at Conway's next day until about 
one or two o'clock. Our horses had broken out of 
the dale on the Potomac, and had returned to Tow- 
ers's the day after we abandoned them. They had 
been put back, and again had left — which escapes, 
in justice to the rhododendron fencing, we must re- 
cord it, were effected through the barricade at the 
point of entrance into the dale ; in other words, 
they had escaped by the way they got in : we had 
not secured the bars effectually. They had been 
seen passing by Conway's only a few hours before 
we arrived. Supposing Towers would send them 
back this morning, we waited, keeping a lookout 
from the house. 

In the meantime, Conway's two boys were de- 
spatched to the dale, six miles off, for our saddles 
and bridles, &c. ; and with instructions to go up the 
mountain beyond, to the Elk-lick, and get Mr. Bote- 
cote's Yankee blanket — which was left there hung 
upon a tree, as the reader will remember, when 
Peter made his first proposition to turn back. 

It was a beautiful morning of the early summer. 



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210# THE BLAOKWATEB OHBONIOLB. 

and we lay idly about on the grass, basking in the 
sunshine, and commenting upon many things pleas- 
antly enough. As the conversation referred chiefly 
to our expedition and its incidents, we will relate 
some of it before we leave. 

Mr. Botecote was restored to all his natural vi- 
vacity and pleasantry. His eye twinkled, and his 
countenance was bright. He was again in his 
proper element of civilization. 

"Well, gentlemen," he observed, "I've been 
thinking about it, and it is my opinion that there 
is no life like this of the wilderness, after all. It's 
astonishing, Galen, what an amount of hardship a 
man can endure I No man can tell what he is un- 
til he is tried. Powell, do you think that tract of 
land can be bought ?" 

"No doubt of it, Mr. Botecote." 

" How many acres are there ?" 

" Five thousand." 

" And for how much ?" 

" Sixty cents an acre." 

"That's three thousand dollars. I'll buy it." 

" It's the finest tract in all the country ; there's 
not fifty acres of bad land in the whole of it, and it's 
all finely watered," answered Powell, encouraging 
the purchase. 

. " I'll join you in the purchase, Peter," said Adol- 
phus. " As soon as we get back to Winston, we'll 
write, right away, and secure it." 



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THE BUrrUEN TO WINSTON. 211 

" Tm afraid we've lost Peter and Adolphus," ob- 
served the artist. 

"Oh, that's certain — indeed, I donbt whether 
they will go back with us at all," replied the Master. 

" 1 can't imagine a more happy life," said Peter, 
" than a man could live out here — here in the midst 
of these grand mountains, these noble trees, these 
perfect waters ; the wilderness close at hand for his 
recreation, with its innumerable deer and trout; 
the railroad only some ten or twenty miles off, and 
which you can reach by a road through beautiful 
glades all the way — that is, after you have got 
over the Backbone. Adolphus, we must build 
ourselves a lodge upon our estate. I shall con- 
struct' something after the old Saxon architecture, 
that shall look baronial — have great, huge fire- 
places, to bum whole loads of wood in at a time ; 
— and a big hall, hxmg round with trophies of the 
chase " 

And here Galen broke in : " Yes — and when our 
friends come up, we will summon Powell and Con- 
way, and all the other foresters, and make inroads 
into the wilderness — encamp out there, and fish, 
and shoot the deer." 

"Deer! — Nothing so small as that — bears and 
panthers — elk at the least," said the artist. 

" I would have the Canaan as a park," said the 
Master, " and cut, But, drives through the gorges 
and defiles of the mountains ; bridge the laurel, and 



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213 THB BLAOKWATEB OHSONIOLE. 

have a tower at the falls of the Blackwater, with a 
good cook in it — such a one as Peter would recom- 
mend — and lounges and cushions of the softest — 
with a harp or so, and two or three grand pianos, 
to play swelling themes in accord with the sublime 
music of the torrent roaring down the AUeganies !" 

" I am not building castles, gentlemen," observed 
Peter with earnestness ; " far from it, gentlemen ! 
Never was more in earnest in my life. Why, that 
five thousand acres, and the others that I would buy 
in the course of time, would be an immense inher- 
itance to my children I Why, sir, in twenty years, 
the whole of it would be worth fifty dollars an acre 
at the least. The railroad, when finished, will open 
out the country to market at once : it will make 
tidewater at your door ! As fine a country as our 
Valley is, I would infinitely rather live here !" 

Mr. Peter Botecote, it will be perceived, was a 
very altered man in his feelings this morning. He 
was no longer the knight of the gloomy counte- 
nance. But rowdy and ragamuflSln as he seemed 
externally to the eye, the soul of Philip Sydney was 
in him, or any highly imaginative, poetic, and sub- 
limated gentleman; and Hope spread before him 
all her illusions — 

"Smiled, enchanted, and waved her golden hair^— 

and all-happy visions of the wilderness didn't spare 
his aching sight. But, we are not deriding Peter, 



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THE BKTUBN TO WINSTON. 213 

Much of that gentleman's enthusiasm has substantial 
foundation. The railroad must put this noble coun- 
try alongside of the sea; and the forest must be 
cleared away for the plough, and the water-power 
everywhere must be used, and the coal dug out of 
the earth, and the ores, the gypsum, the salt, and 
the lumber, turned into wealth; and therefore the 
land (such land ! that can be bought now from sixty 
cents to a dollar an acre !) must be worth fifty dol- 
lars — and that at no very distant day. But all this 
is to be done by the hardy enterprise of men in 
whose souls poetry and imagination are not pre- 
dominant — by men with necessity at their elbow, 
who are resolute upon acquisition, and who have 
been trained to the rougher realities of life ; not by 
a set of daintily-nurtured gentlemen, to whom life 
has been but little else than an agreeable pastime, 
whose disquiet has been only the loss of some pleas- 
urable gratification, whose greatest suffering has con- 
sisted in being lost for a day in the wilds of the Ca- 
naan — a wilderness — but a wilderness of plenty of 
deer and trout 

" Peter is delightful to me this morning, gentle- 
men ; I never saw a happier countenance," observed 
the Master, 

" Perfectly delicious," responded the artist ; " he's 
blossoming like the rose in the wilderness : — 

*' 'O my lore ia like the red, red rose, 
That's newly blown in June J' ** 



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214 THE BLAOKWATEB OBBONIOLE. 

" He is happy, sure enough," 8ai<^ Trip. " And 
he looks natural to me to-day out of his eyes. But 
yesterday, sitting down on that sofl, mushy log, I 
don't think his nearest neighbor would have recog- 
nised him." 

^^ There was a grand gloom on him just abont 
that time : he looked like the pictures of Kapoleon 
on the rock at St. Helena." 

" I never had any idea of Philips's grand^ gloomy j 

and peculiar — a sceptred hermit^ &c., before. I 

see now, however, distinctly the sort of picture of 

a man the Irish orator must have had in his mind.'^ 

^ '* Signor, you ought to have sketched him." 

^^ I have him in my mind's eye, gentlemen : Ma- 
rius, sitting among the ruins of Carthage, won't be 
able to hold a candle to him, after I shall have 
limned him I" 

" Trip, you needn't say anything," retorted Peter ; 
" for when the hunters admitted we were lost, your 
eyes grew very big." 

" Well, it did look a little scary to me about that 
time," answered Trip, " particularly when I saw the 
Signor there hunting about for the snails, and put- 
ting them in his pockets. You see, I thought of 
Towell's story about the lost man out there. And, 
now I think of it, I shall retract to Connells my dis- 
belief as soon as I get a sight of him." 

" Call him Towers^ if you please, ray dear fellow, 
Trip ; just put your mind upon it — Towers — Tow- 
ers / It would be some amends to him." 



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THE fiETUBN TO WINSTON. 215 

And here Peter frankly acknowledged the fact 
that he was very much broken down and a good 
deal disconsolate at times ; but that, notwithstand- 
ing, the pleasure of the expedition was very great 
to him. 

"And, gentlemen," he continued, with much en- 
thusiasm,«"ril go in with you again, at any time 
you may choose to name, provided only you let me 
have about a month's notice, so that I may put my- 
self in training beforehand. Indeed, I think, the 
next time, I'll take it afoot from hom^. They have 
• got to making these wagons now to run so easy, that 
a man who uses them must lose eventually all his 
walking powers — that fine elasticity of muscle — 
that wiry agility — that free, unimpeded respiration 
— that everything that is native and to the manner 
born, I may say, to man, as my experience of the 
wilderness satisfies me — that — in fine, gentlemen, 
I shall foot it, I think, for the rest of my days 1" 

" Right, Peter — down with the wagon 1" said the 
artist. 

" And up with the saddle-horse again !" replied 
the Master. " I will join with you in any reforma- 
tion of the times that has for its object the ascen- 
dency of the saddle. Bring the republic back to 
that, and I shall have hopes of it. This foot-work 
is sufficiently cared for over the land ; any fellow 
that has two legs can get at it. But how many of 
our people are there of this generation wl^o can ride 



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216 THB BLAOKWATEB OHBOKIOLS. 

a real horse ! Cavalry are as essential to our na- 
tional greatness as infantry. While many go afoot, 
it is essential that some at least should go a-hor»e- 
back. Where would the nation be to-day, if it had 
not been for that race of men who were trained in 
the saddle — those men of * earth's first blood' — the 
gentlemen who rode the blooded horses <that were 
descended from the loins of the Godolphin Arabian ? 
Don't tell me, Peter, that these men, heroic as they 
would have been anyhow, had not some elevation 
given to their heroism by the nobiUties of nature 
begotten of the saddle. Imagine Washington with- • 
out his charger I Think of him, if you can, afoot ! 
Or can the idea of him even enter into your brain, 
as a man driving a fast trotter, at about two twenty, 
over a plank-road ! Could Alexander of Macedon 
ever have been Alexander the Great, had he not 
been the Alexander who could ride Bucephalus? 
Shakspeare understood all about it when he made 
Eichard rage about Bosworth-field for a horse .^" — 

" * A horse ! a horse I my klDgdom for a horse V " — 

here ranted Peter, breaking in upcm the Master ; 
and, throwing himself into a very theatrical poaitipn, 
he went on, and enacted the whole of the battle-scene 
— 'Out-raging Kean or Booth even — to the great 
wonderment of Powell and Conway, and the whole 
of Conway's family, who came out bewildered to 
the. performance. At length, having got through 



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THE EBTUBN TO WINSTON. 217 

the play, Peter went on to learn from his two for- 
esters the expense of clearing the timber from his 
proposed estate ; 3— which information was, when 
summed up and digested, in and about as follows: 
A good day-laboror would belt an acre a day ; 
and he could be hired for fifty cents a day. One 
man, therefore, in a hundred days, would belt or 
deaden one hundred acres. Ten men, in that time, 
would belt a thousand acres, and at. a cost of five 
hundred dollars. A thousand acres of the forest 
then, could be easily deadened by the next spring. 
As soon as this is done, the ground being freed from 
the tax made upon it by the growth of the trees, 
and the sun let in, it would, in the first season, 
grow up in timothy, the spontaneous growth of 
these wilds. This thousand acres in that condition 
would graze, the first year, some fire hundred head 
of cattle, which could be had at a dollar a head for 
the season. The estate would yield, then, for the 
first year, five hundred dollars. The next year, the 
same thousand acres would graze a thousand head 
of cattle — that is a thousand dollars it would yield 
the second year. The third year yon could harrow 
over the ground, sow some grass-seed additional, 
maybcy in places, and go to making hay for winter 
use. This year you could buy young cattle at 
eight and ten dollars a piece, and having the hay to 
keep them over winter, sell the,m the next year at 
eighteen or twenty dollars a head. Some two hun- 
10 



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218 THB BLACKWATBS OHBONIGLE. 

dred acres of the thousand being kept for hay, you 
conld cut from them at least two tons to the acre. 
A ton of hay is good allowance for the support of a 
steer through the winter. Therefore you could 
keep some four hundred head over the winter ; four 
hundred would be worth seven or eight thousand 
dollars gross — equal to some three or four thousand 
dollars clear. The fourth year the roots of the trees 
would be all dead, and your land fit for cultivation 
— for raising wheat, rye, oats, potatoes, or whatever 
else the climate and soil would allow ; and by this 
time the land kept in timothy would grow from 
three to five tons of hay to the acre. 

From this digest of the information communi- 
cated by Powell, the reader will perceive that the 
speculation will be a grand one in a money point 
of view ; and Peter and Adolphus were already, in 
their mind's eye, great cattle-raisers, with numerous 
herdsmen, and almost innumerable bullocks over 
their vast possessions — say some fifty thousand 
acres apiece — here on the slopes and lawns of the 
Backbone; and their houses were filled, during 
the summer months, with gentlemen and ladies, 
who hunted and rode, fished, eat the trout, the 
broils, and roasts and pastries of the deer, with 
bear's meat, and panther or wild-cat coUops — 
grew fat and defied the world below, in the pas- 
times of the wilderness — then a wilderness made 
easy of ingress and egress by fine graded roads, cut 



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THE BBTUBN TO WINSTON. 219 

out by the great proprietors, Peter and Galen — 
whose two castles of old Saxon architecture, built 
on either slope of the mountain, would enable the 
Backbone to frown down on the Potomac on the 
one side, on the Blackwater on the other, as — 

" The castled crag of Drakenfels 
Frown's o*er the wide and winding Rhine." 

In the meantime, while all this future was enter- 
ing deep into the hearts of the two lords paramount 
of these regions — the duke of Canaan, and the 
baron of the Backbone — Andante and the Master 
were stretched out upon the grass, a little distance 
oflF, commenting upon the scene around them. 

"Did you ever see a more perfectly ruflSan- 
looking couple of fellows in your life, than those 
two great landholders yonder." 

" They put me in mind of the vagabond banditti 
that used to infest the stage in Fra Diavolo." 

*'I don't think you look any better, Guy I" 

" Nor I, you, Signor 1 If I were to meet you 
alone on the highway, I would give you a very 
wide berth. I don't think I have ever seen in 
painting, or read of in description, a more unmiti- 
gated ruffian than you look I" 

" Trip, sprawled out yonder, comes up to my idea 
of a red republican crippled in the leg at a barri- 
cade." 

"I can understand very well, why we should 
look like a set of vagabonds who would steal sheep, 



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220 THB BLAOKWATEB OHBONIQLE. 

and pigs, and poultry ; but that is not it. There is a 
look about us of a set of men who would rob, and 
murder, bum, plunder and ravage a whole country. 
There is no such look about Powell and Conway." 

"I understand it this way," said Andante, "I 
think it quite likely, that degrade us from our rank 
as gentlemen -^^ take away all the restraints of civili- 
zation from us — in other words, put us down on 
the Spanish main, and we would discover some 
qualities that would be consid^ed right respectable 
among pirates." 

" What ! do you think that of But 1" 

" No, I except him. If he was to embark in life 
on the Spanish main, I think he would be taken and 
hung." 

Here Mr. Butcut, tearing something about his 
being captured and hung, the visioned bliss, and 
power, and dominion over great estates, &c., &c., 
which filled and thrilled his brain all the morning, 
were all obliterated from his mind by the unhappy 
idea; and turning his thoughts altogether away 
from the Blackwater, he entered into a very earnest 
maintenance of the opinion, that he would make as 
good a pirate as any gentleman present. 

"In fact, gentlemen," he said, concluding his 
defence of himself, " I believe, barring, always, the 
walking and starving, I would be as efficient a man 
as any of you, upon any marauding expedition, 
whether by sea or land." 



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THE RETURN TO WINSTON. 221 

"Feed him enough, and cany him — and I be- 
lieve 80 too," said Trip. 

After this very just remark of Triptolemus's, 
which was assented to on all hands, our horses 
came in sight, emerging from the woods ; a^d we 
began preparations for our departure. 

Having paid aU expenses at the Hotel Conway, 
handsomely — shaken hands kindly with all the 
family (amounting to some eight or ten, big and 
little), especially taking care not to forget the oldest 
daughter of the old forester, who had a soft hand 
and a kindling eye, and was a very modest, and 
very pretty maiden of some seventeen summers, 
we turned our steps Towers- ward ; and half of us 
a-foot, and half a-horse, we defiled into the forest, 
presenting to the eye a very good picture of the 
vagabond picturesque in scenery. As we went out 
we might have passed well enough for the nobler 
order of outlaws— such as Robin Hood, and Little 
John, and "Will Scarlet; and Butcut would have 
done for the jolly friar — but now, all tattered and 
torn, the glory of our trim array all gone — our 
plumage drooping, and general aspect beggarly, 
we more resembled a band of the inferior banditti 
who infest the neighborhood of pig-pens and poultry 
yards. Still we were picturesque of aspect ; and 
as we followed the winding horsepath, up the hill- 
sides and down the steeps — now through the little 
streams that made their way to the Potomac — into 



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THE BLA.OKWATEB OHBONIOLB. 

the dells, and through them, and np out of them 
again, until we reached the cone of the Backbone ; 
and so, on and along it^ until we came out into the 
northwestern highway — there were many points of 
view^n which an artist could have made a picture 
of our march, worthy of being hung up anywhere 
in the halls and bowers of our land. Indeed, the 
Signor says, that he has it now in his mind's eye, 
and that some day, when his genius is sufficiently 
inspired, he will render the expedition as memorable 
as that of Xenophon, by putting it on canvass as it 
wound its way out dismantled through the romantic 
scenery of the Backbone ; choosing this one of its 
many aspects, by which to pei'petuate its remem- 
brance, because, as there is dignity in suflFerings 
endured, its great toils and hardships will be im- 
pressed more fully upon the mind, by the tatterde- 
mallion aspect that so thoroughly belonged to it, as 
it approached its end. 

After reaching the highway we have nothing 
more to record, except that the travellers along the 
road, in every instance, gave us the track by shying 
oflF to the right or the left, out of our way ; and that 
they returned our salutation with a glad and sub- 
servient courtesy; which shows that the people 
who travel these regions, are either very civil in 
their manners, or that they took us for a band of 
most desperate ruffians, which, we leave the judi- 
cious reader to determine. Thus, in full and un- 



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< 



THE BBTTJRN TO WINSTON. 



223 



disputed possession of the right of way to the whole 
or any part of the northwestern turnpike that we 
chose to take, we at length, at about five o'clock in 
the afternoon of the fifth day , dismounted atTowers's 
gate, all alive and well — restored by Heaven to the 
regions of civilization — toughened, roughened, high 
in health, strong in limb, and joyously elate with 
the achievement of our hardy enterprise ; as — 

" FuU of spirit as the month of May.** 

though not quite so — 

" Gorgeous as the sun at midsummer.** 

And SO ends the adventure into the Canaan 
wilderness of Randolph. 

Here, also, ends this Blackwater Chronicle. 




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